Speak Yourself

On  September 24th, 2018 South Korean boy band BTS took the stage in front of the United Nations assembly. The band was invited to speak by UNICEF as a part of the Generation Unlimited partnership that aims to help improve the lives of children.  

Generation Unlimited taskforce to share their story on how they personally want to represent the youth of today.

Gif courtesy of giphy.com

Kim Nam Joon, the leader of BTS, presented his speech with the main emphasis on how “true love begins with loving one’s self.”

Kim starts off with a personal story of himself, sharing when he was young his dreams extended beyond his imagination. Over time, the expectations of others made him conform into the idea of who others wanted him to be. This lead to Kim losing his name; who he was. Through music, he found his way to be able to express who he was and who he wanted to be. Still, despite having music as his sanctuary, where there was hope, there were trials. Kim still struggled with how to love who he was. Even though BTS has reached this success of being global artists, the path to success was filled with hurdles and doubts. Despite it all, Kim did not give up. He attributes his success to the other BTS members and his fans, acknowledging that he would not be who he is without them. Over time, he grew to accept what he has faced, and what he will face, for those things are what makes him, him. 


Gif courtesy of giphy.com

Kim ends his speech with a call to action: to Speak Yourself. He asked the questions what your name is, what excites you, what is your story. Kim emphasizes the importance of being who you are, not what others think you are. To love yourself is one thing, but being able to live as yourself is the next step.

Even though this message was targeted at today’s youth, the reality is that everybody has faced this issue. In one way or another, everyone at some point in their life has left who they are to pursue the somebody else that people wanted them to be. In one way or another, we hated ourselves for who we were because of the things that we have done, for the mistakes that we have made. The thing is, that is what makes us human. It is the notion of wanting to be the best version of ourselves. But, to be who we want to be, we must acknowledge who we were; we must love ourselves in order to grow. Like how a flower does not bloom if we don’t take care of it, we too will not bloom if we don’t treat ourselves with love. Love is the seed of change.

Gif courtesy of giphy.com

In a society where we are demanded that we hate ourselves and must become someone else to be able to be loved, BTS spreads a message of love and how you are enough just the way you are.

So be brave and courageous. Speak yourself. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? What is your story?

My name is Amanda Valiente. I am a student who is infatuated with stories. I believe that everyone has a voice that is worthy and I have made it a goal of mine to let those voices be heard. Although I may not be perfect, or the best at what I do, I am proud of who I am and how far I’ve come.