BTS Tells The Youth To “Speak Yourself” At The 73rd UN General Assembly
“Speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself,” is what BTS tells the entire world in their speech at the 73rd UN General Assembly.
BTS members made history on September 24 as they served as the voices of their generation at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly held at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The event served as the launch of UNICEF’s new global partnership project called Generation Unlimited, which hopes to give the youth more opportunities.
BTS’ leader RM took sole control of the podium as he delivered an inspiring speech which touched on BTS’ and his personal journey to pushing for and living out their many advocacies.
His speech beautifully centered on encouraging the youth to make their voices heard and not care about what others have to say.
He started off by thanking the UN Committee for giving them the avenue and opportunity to speak in such a groundbreaking event.
He then talked about their current partnership with UNICEF, the Love Myself, which was launched in November 2017 and has received overwhelming support and recognition ever since.
“Last November, BTS launched the Love Myself campaign with UNICEF, built in our belief that true love first begins with loving myself. We’ve been partnering with UNICEF’s #EndViolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence, and our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and with their enthusiasm,” he said, and gave a major shoutout to ARMYs — who were all more or less watching the UN GA via live stream online. “We truly have the best fans in the world,” RM said.
He went on to give a more personal touch to his speech by talking about himself and his journey of losing his voice and eventually, regaining it.
“I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It is a really beautiful place with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a very happy childhood there and I was just an ordinary boy,” he recounted.
“I used to look up at the night sky, wondering, and I used to dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine I was a superhero who could save the world. And in the intro to one of our albums, there’s a line that says, ‘my heart stopped when I was maybe nine or ten’,” RM said, referring to the intro track “O, RUL8,2?” from BTS’ album of the same name.
“Looking back, I think that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the night skies, the stars. I stopped daydreaming. Instead, I just tried to jam myself into the malls that other people made,” the lead rapper of BTS admitted.
“Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I — we — all lost our names. We became like ghosts,” he said.
“There was a small voice inside of me that said, ‘wake up man and listen to yourself’, but it took me quite a long time to hear music calling out my real name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were a lot of hurdles. Some people might not believe but most people thought we were hopeless and sometimes, I just wanted to quit,” he confessed.
“But I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. and I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling like this. BTS has become artists performing in those huge stadiums and selling millions of albums right now but I am still an ordinary 24-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I have my other BTS members right by my side and because of the love and support that our ARMY fans all over the world made for us,” he shared.
RM also touched on the realization that dawned on him — that maybe, these faults and mistakes weren’t that bad at all.
“And maybe, I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. Today, I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes. Tomorrow, I might be a tiny bit wiser and that will be me too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was, and for who I hope to become,” he said, imparting a very inspirational message that had been apparent in their songs and advocacies as well.
“After releasing our Love Yourself albums and launching the Love Myself campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world about how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. Those stories constantly remind us of our responsibility,” he continued, putting a spotlight on how important it was to have the capacity to let their voices be heard and used as an instrument to empower others.
RM then encouraged everyone, particularly the youth, to take one more step.
“So, let’s take all one more step. We have learned to love ourselves so now I urge you to speak yourself. I’d like to ask all of you: What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat?” he asked.
“Tell me your story. I wanna hear your voice, I wanna hear your conviction. No matter who you are or where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity, just speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself,” he motivated everyone as his speech neared its end.
“I’m Kim Namjoon and also RM of BTS. I am an idol and I am an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I’ve made many and plenty mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many more fears, but I’m gonna embrace myself as hard as I can and I’m starting to love myself gradually, as little by little,” he said, starting off what seems to be a new movement — hoping to transform more lives and reach out to more people.
He closed his speech with perhaps the most powerful six words and two sentences which aims to move and inspire everyone no matter who they are and where they come from: “What is your name? Speak yourself”.
Watch and listen to the entire speech below:
FULL SPEECH: Global pop sensation @BTS_twt speaks at the 73rd @UN General Assembly in NYC and helps to launch a new global youth initiative, "Generation Unlimited." https://t.co/dCuujVag6a#BTSonGMA #BTS pic.twitter.com/SArtpiIcBh
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 24, 2018
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