We Day is a powerful event. It promotes a change in the world and empowers the kids of our generation to make a difference. The first photo presented here was taken a few minutes before the crowd of attendees started pouring in. I snapped this image out of pure excitement for the amazing speeches I was about to hear. That’s where the second image comes in, it is of Martin Luther King III, and was taken during his amazing speech that ended up being my favourite of the day. I’ve chosen to write about these photos because it was an incredible day that came during a hard time in my life and helped change my outlook on life and the outlook I had on myself.
Volunteering at We Day 2013 was unbelievable and unlike any experience I`ve had. Dedicating my spare time to an organization that does so much good in the world made me feel part of something so much greater then myself, and that I was actually making a difference. During the many training days that took place before the grand event I met an abundant amount of amazing people seen throughout the primary photograph presented. There was an immense amount of excitement between my fellow crowd pumpers and I as we practiced our dances and chants while waiting for the many different schools from a crossed Manitoba to arrive. I made a ton of new friends all sharing the same passion for change as I do. Without their contribution, this Free the Children movement would not have been such a success.
Taking another look at the background of the initial image given, you see the We Day stage in all its glory. The brightly lit screens filled with neon lights made us even more eager for the performances from Shawn Desman and Robb Nash, not to mention the speakers such as Molly Burke, Amanda Lindhout, and Spencer West with all of their speeches that would soon have us hanging on every word. The set-up of the stage, along with the color of lights chosen for each act greatly added to the interpretation of these productions, and without all these amazing facets the show wouldn’t have been nearly as memorizing.
This second photo of Martin Luther King the III was taken during the show he was the opening speech and it was his speech that stood out the most to me. I was enchanted by his words and in the end it was what helped me to make a change and turn the corner to a new me. He spoke of needing to be the best you can be “If all your life you be a street sweeper, why go on and sweep streets. Like Michael Angelo carved marble, go on and sweep streets. Like Shakespeare wrote poetry, go on and sweep streets...” his speech gave me goose bumps, the truth behind his words “It isn’t by size that you win or you fail, you just got to be the best of what you are.” Made a lasting impression on the view I had towards the people of the world. This speech drove me to the realization that as we go through life we may never be as great as Shakespeare. We may not be as artistic as Donatello, but to find that one thing we are put on this earth to do, and put everything into fulfilling that calling, then you can live on, satisfied with knowing you’ve accomplished your best.
In conclusion these photos are more than a representation of We Day, but a representation of a turning point in my life as well. Leading up to this event my days were filled with complications, stress, and the feeling of being utterly lost and confused with who I was. Being there, listening to the tales of hard times from these inspiring people was my release. They helped to show me the light in the middle of my storm. It was exactly what I needed; it was there that I was reminded of me. The real me, that had gotten lost in the shuffle and fast pace of high school.
By: K. Burgess