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Giving the forgotten a voice

May 20, 2011

It's time for a change … time for something — different.
For the most part, I've always been one to follow the rules, do what everyone says and keep to myself. However, in the past few years I have decided that enough is enough. Especially since I was given the chance to follow my dream and put my writing skills to use.
It's really easy to get influenced by others and have your writing influenced, but the true test, in my opinion, is being able to withstand the corruption and the negative influences that too often surround reporters and journalists. It seems so easy to just report and go along with the topics which aren't going to anger anyone. It's easy to avoid the topics people don't want to hear about and it's even easier to make sure everyone is happy.
Then again, if you stop and think about it, you can't make everyone happy.
There will always be someone who doesn't agree with what you write, doesn't believe in what you say and usually, it's the group that has the loudest voice you will hear from whether it be good or bad. There will be those to voice their opinions and try to squash the different. Those are the ones who believe every topic should be catered to them because they are the driving and powerful force.
To that I say, you're wrong.
Of course, it's better to make the larger group happy and have less problems or negative comments, but then again I have to wonder; what about those few, the small group whom people forget about. What about those who feel their ways are never touched upon and the things they find important are never given any light? What about those people?
Maybe I'm partial because I have always been one of those people and maybe, I just see a different picture. There are plenty of people out there willing to talk about the accepted, well received and the “common” topics of everyday life and business. Are those the only topics worth telling about? Isn't there more to life than just the commonalities? There are so many issues which used to be considered taboo and were hidden away, but somehow society became accepting of those issues. There was a time being a single mother was a shameful fate; being a woman with a dream and want to pursue education was not allowed; people with mental issues and deformities were shunned, ignored and sometimes punished. The list could go on and on about what has become acceptable, but there will always be those who believe their way of thinking is the only right way. Well to you I say, in journalism there is no right or wrong way of thinking and every topic deserves attention. Just as society has changed in what it accepts, so should writing change in the topics it addresses.
I never started writing to please people. I've never written an article to make the majority happy. I simply write the facts in a way anyone can understand, and I approach topics, in my opinion not touched upon enough. I am striving to reach those people who feel they have nobody. I want to report on the causes that are important, but too often overlooked. I have no interest in making the powerful more powerful and I have no desire to bring them down. However, I do have the desire to shed light on things that may never be touched upon and bring attention to things that have been overlooked for too long. I want to bring a different perspective to the ways of society.
I have been given the opportunity to experience things others may not have the chance to ever experience. I have been given an inside look to things other people may never be able to see or even understand, and I don't plan on wasting that. I know I may not be able to bring everyone with me and make them see what I see or view things the way I view them, but I can offer my thoughts and opinions in hopes of reaching those who may never be reached.
I understand there will be those who will remain stuck in their ways. They will never appreciate the words I write and frown upon the topics I choose, but that's okay. When I chose my career — my dream — there are some things I never expected.
I never expected to get rich because I know newspapers just are not the platform they once were and will most likely never be again. I never expected to be able to make everyone happy and I never expected to make a huge name for myself. Honestly, I have already done a lot more than I expected to do.
However, I did expect to be a journalist people could trust. Someone that people would know to touch upon the issues that others were afraid to touch upon. Someone to do their best to let others know they are not alone and their stories do matter. When I have people read my articles and columns I want them to be able to believe what I say, trust what I say and know I am someone just like them. I am nobody special and my words are no more important than theirs. Everyone deserves to tell their story and have their issues addressed, just maybe I can be the one to help them get there.
During the past two and a half years I have written my fair share of “common” articles. I have touched upon personal issues some have questioned and have tried to shed light on worthy causes that are hardly ever heard of. All the topics I have ever touched upon do not come from what others will enjoy or what will go over well. When it comes to writing my column I base them off of my own life, my issues and my own experiences. After all there is no truer form than what we know and what we feel.
I have questioned sometimes if I want to share some of the personal stories, but then again I realize if I was feeling the way I was then there is bound to be someone else out there feeling the same way I do. I reiterate, if I can get through to one person and let them know they are not alone then it's worth it. It's worth sharing my pain, it's worth having others cast judgement and it's worth others complaining.
I have been asked a few times now to not write about what I write about and to that I say no. There will not be a censor to my voice and to the voice of those who are overlooked. Answer me this, what makes politics and religion more important than the pain we each deal with in life? Why is that those issues deserve to be put into print, but the others don't?
I argue so strongly to continue to write what I write for one reason: I know that it is serving a purpose.
I have questioned what I share, but it always seems that it's when I share the personal that I receive the most response. I know that I have served the purpose I set out to do, I have received the confirmation that I needed. That confirmation does not come from the powerful or the wealthy; it comes from those that have by chance read my column and found a light at the end of the tunnel. It's in those who have felt like they were not alone because of my column and from those who have found a way to go on because they saw I had made it through somehow.
They are the reason I fight so strongly to share my column and they are the reason I will continue to write what I write. It's not about sharing my business with everyone, it's simply about making people feel they are understood and not alone.
After all, isn't that what everyone wants...

Contact Staff Writer Amanda Moreno at 263-7331 ext. 234 or by e-mail at life@bigspringherald.com

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