Dec 30, 2016 - The Loud, the Meek, and the Nobodies by Maleaha Brings Plenty

Hello. My name is Nobody and I am mute. Not selectively mute, I should add. I lost my voice and not by choice. It gradually began to fade. I used to have a voice strong enough to fill an opera house without a microphone. I used to be able to sing and laugh and yell, but now I can only whisper. What happened to my voice? Other people took it from me. The louder others began to sing and laugh and yell, the quieter my voice became. The more people came into my life, the less I could talk. They began to continuously shout and more of them came. I tried to talk over them. I tried to show myself, but they overpowered me. No matter how loud I screamed, they screamed and yelled louder. Eventually, I lost my voice entirely. Now, nobody can hear me.

I attempt to write down what I’m thinking, but they can never read my handwriting, saying it’s too this or too that. Anytime anyone does understand what I’m writing, they tell me to just speak up and say it already. Or that I’m being dramatic and that nobody should ever listen to me since I’m obsessing over the fact that I have no voice. I have so much to say but no voice to say it with or any ears that will listen.

Because I no longer have a voice, I’m forgotten about. Everybody forgets who I am. Everyone else who has a voice, even those with meeker voices, are always heard and remembered even among the Meek Voice Community. The Loud Ones are in charge and dominate (for obvious reasons) and the Meek Ones are there but definitely face hardships, discrimination, and less recognition for being Meek. And then there’s an entire group for those like me. We’re called the Nobodies and we are either forgotten about or made fun of. We aren’t taken seriously, if anyone remembers we exist and aren’t dead.

In a world of Loud Ones, Meek Ones, and Nobodies, you have to find alternative motives concerning getting your voice heard. For the Meek Ones, they band together to create one loud voice that the Loud Ones can’t ignore. And for the Nobodies, we have to find a way to make our voices heard in a world where we don’t have any. The Nobodies are still figuring out how to be seen, heard, and listened to. How can a group of mutes create so much noise we can’t be ignored? That’s the question we ask ourselves every day. If any Nobodies have ideas, do tell. Or rather, do write. Write until we get our booming voices back. Write until the day when we become the Loud Ones.

By Maleaha Brings Plenty, 15-year-old high school junior from Cherokee, North Carolina. I am Oglala Sioux and am enrolled with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

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