Het thema van Internationale Vrouwendag 2019 is ‘Heldinnen’. Vrouwen die zich op uitzonderlijke wijze hebben ingezet voor de rechten van de vrouw, voor gelijkheid en voor hun medemens. Maar ook kleine gebaren en verborgen daden kunnen iemand een heldin maken. Wie is jouw heldin? Flueres moedigt Demi Nouws aan. Al op haar veertiende heeft zij een idee over wat er in onze maatschappij ontbreekt en brengt ze een inspirerende boodschap over: “You don’t need other peoples validation when you start believing, trusting and loving yourself”. Hier lees je haar boodschap aan de wereld.

“What makes the world go round?”, some will say money and others will say, love. However, I don’t want to answer that question, I want to answer the question:

“What made the world go round, and why is it failing today?”

Look, guys, you have to see the world as a giant basketball that you spin on top of your finger really hard. At first, the ball will gain speed, but over time, the forces acting on the ball will get stronger and stronger, this causes the ball to slow down and to eventually fall off your finger. You have to imagine the hand that spins the ball as society and the ball as the world. The forces acting on the ball are all the things that have to do with society and the finger that holds up the ball, as the four basics of life: love, hope, faith and choices. Without any of those, we will just be like red blood cells.

So why is society failing to spin that ball?

It has multiple reasons really. And one of those reasons is that we are afraid. We are afraid of change, we are afraid of the unknown, we are afraid to take that jump. I am afraid of change, I am afraid of the unknown, I am afraid to take that jump, even if it is to jump over a box during PE. And the reason for why we fear change, why we fear the unknown and why we fear to take that jump is because we are afraid that we will lose things, we are afraid to fail. And every time we do things we wonder “What if?..”. So what if you fail, the thing that counts is how you get up and how you try it again. You fail because you didn’t have enough information to succeed, but when you try again you will have that extra piece of information to succeed. And guess what, during PE, I will not jump right away over that box, I will fall before I jump, I will fall during my jump and I will fall after I have jumped. But I will make it towards the other side of that box, because I never, ever quit.

The second reason that our society is failing is that we want validation of other people. We want other people to believe in us, trust us, like us, love us and to accept us for who we are. However, when you are seeking validation from others, you will change yourself to get accepted. Why would you change for other people, if they can’t accept you for who you truly are, just let them go from your life?

When a flower doesn’t bloom, you change the environment and not the flower itself.

So do that, let go of the people who can’t accept you, and surround yourself with positivity. You don’t need other peoples validation when you start believing, trusting and loving yourself. However, we don’t do that and that is also the third reason why our society is failing.

We lack self-esteem, we lack self-respect and we are tremendously self-conscious. We have this image printed into our minds of what we should look like, of what we should act like and what we should wear. This is completely wrong. You are beautiful, maybe not like those people in magazines. You are beautiful for the sparkle in your eyes when you talk about something you love. You are beautiful for the way you make other people smile. You may not be beautiful for something as temporary as your looks, no you are beautiful in your soul. And that’s is something I want to make clear right now. Because a lot of people look in the mirror every day with disgust, go shopping in stores and wonder if this suits them, if others will judge them.

These three reasons are just a small amount of the reasons why this society is failing. Why this society can’t spin the ball and why the forces are growing stronger. We, as a society, should spin that ball, because right now, we are at this point where we’re almost falling.

Demi Nouws, 2019

Demi schreef deze speech voor de Junior Speaking Contest. Dit is een landelijke activiteit met een internationale dimensie waarbij de leerlingen hun Engels in een andere situatie kunnen gebruiken.