One Small Voice and With A Big Effect By: Emily Condon

It was the last Monday in January of 2017, and if I wasn't so lazy, I would've been jumping out of my seat. I kept crossing and uncrossing my legs. My family was celebrating my grandmother's birthday early, and it's tradition for my family to Skype my cousins out in Scotland every Monday night; tonight was no exception. The five of us settled on the couch and opened Skype.

The familiar ringtone rang out in the almost silence. I decided to play a few games on my phone until I had something to contribute to the conversation with. The conversation started off with my cousin's thesis. He's over in Scotland for college, studying archaeology. I had never really been interested in that sort of thing, so I tuned most of the conversation out. Minutes passed by, and my fingers still tapped away on the screen of my phone. I could sense the conversation was getting political, and urged myself to get up and move to the other room, but I knew my efforts would turn out hopeless. My grandmother could be heard anywhere, and everywhere. I knew that, so I decided to roll with it.

I attempted to tune all of the conversation out, but part of me couldn't let my brain do that. Most of my family has always been vocal with their opinions, and I definitely was part of that group. I couldn't resist myself, and tuned a little more into the conversation, trying not to show my frustrations. If there's one thing you should know, my grandmother is a very strong Hillary Clinton supporter. She despises Trump. I had tried to stand up to her hurtful words more than once, but had always been beaten down. The thought crossed my mind, and I knew what I was going to do.

Tonight was the night. I was making my stand. I had enough of her negative talk. She couldn't just follow the saying for this one time: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. No one follows that saying though.

I knew that when the moment was right, I was going to strike. I had been stocking up an arsenal of points, and was ready to start firing at any second. I waited for a few more minutes, and I found the right topic to discuss. She was going on about how she "knew" that Trump wasn't going to last his whole term in office. When there was a second's pause, I jumped in, and completely startled my grandmother.

"I think he'll last his whole term. In fact, I think he's going to run again when his term ends." I spoke innocently, letting out a breath and hoping with all my heart that I could do this. She just shook her head slightly and turned back to the laptop.

"America will be too much for him." She addressed my cousins.

"He's too much for America. He can't be much worse than we are. And that's the truth." I chuckled a little at my response, and sighed. Now that I was finally speaking out against my grandmother's opinion, I relaxed slightly, leaning back into the sofa. It almost felt like I was proving her wrong, as she had done to me several times. She didn't respond to me at first.

"He's going to run scared to the government and plead to resign." She chuckled, still addressing my cousins.

"Well, he could prove you wrong. Just like he did on election day. Remember? When you said 'Oh, he won't win.' and now look. There he is, sitting in the White House. Who knows? He could prove you wrong this time too." I responded, remembering election day. A small smile crawled onto my uncle's face when I said that. I wasn't sure what it meant, but I hoped it was a good thing.

My grandmother's face fell though. She didn't respond. Even though I probably shouldn't have, I wanted to climb to the top of a mountain and scream that I had done it. I felt like I could conquer the world. I had just stood up for my beliefs and made a point. The conversation drifted away from politics, and I crossed my legs once more.

If I could ask you to take anything away from my story, this would be it: don't be afraid to stand up for something that you believe in. You're never wrong, and that's what I believed for a while. No one's opinion is wrong, and that's something you should never forget.

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