Have you ever found yourself talking, only to realize that no one is actually listening? If you have, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, imagine it. It’s incredibly awkward, the way you have to trail off the last sentence of your unfinished story, and act like you hadn’t been talking in the first place.

This next scenario has never happened to me personally, but I’ve seen it enough times to have a general understanding of how it works. It goes something like this: there are two people. One of them begins talking to the other; but elicits no response.  Then the person who began talking will realize that the other person had headphones in, and was completely oblivious to what they were saying, or to their presence at all.

Of course, in this scenario, it is likely that the person listening to music with their headphones on wouldn’t have continued to do so if they had been aware of the person talking; but they weren’t, so they didn’t hear them.

Those are just examples – extremely embarrassing ones, might I add – but the basic idea explored in those examples can be examined on a much larger scale. For example, take the – also basic – idea of majority and minority.

It is difficult to be in the minority; but it is equally difficult to be in the majority and not truly agree with what the majority thinks, and simply be there because it is “easier”. It might be easier to go with the flow and follow the crowds, but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s right. Similarly, just because it’s right, doesn’t mean it’s easy.

There will be times in your life when you have to choose between what is easy, and what is right, and when those times come, I hope you can muster up the courage to choose what is right.

You might even already be sided with the majority; but just because you are, doesn’t mean you always have to be. When someone is speaking up and proposing a new idea or thought, remove your metaphorical headphones (your prejudices, and already-existing thoughts about the particular subject) and listen!

So what are you waiting for? Remind yourself that it is okay not to always side with the majority, and don’t be the person who is so engrossed in their own music, with their headphones in and completely ignoring the world, that you forget to expand your horizons.

Also, if you’re the person talking and having no one listening: keep talking. Change begins with one person, and there’s no reason why that one person can’t be you.