Posted on 2/2/14
taylor rileyOWENSBORO, Ky. (12/19/13) — You are standing center stage, knees wobbling. The screams coming from your loyal fans are muffled by the amplification of your anxious heartbeat while harsh lights burn your retinas. A feeling rushes over you that you may have died and gone to a place not of this world.

The spotlight might seem like this to you . . . if you’re Ke$ha. But, to most of us, this isn’t reality. In reality, though, the spotlight comes in many forms — having your work published on a website or other publication, speaking in front of a large crowd at school or at work, or even posting an opinion to social media.

The spotlight can be a rush of excitement, but can also have negative consequences. Whatever you write or say in front of an audience, whether it is 1,000 or just one person, can and will be heard. The more people there are, the more people that are going to hear it.

Whether you are in the public eye or you are just 140-characters deep on Twitter, you should not be surprised when your controversial opinions are being talked about — you are inviting criticism. When you put an opinion out there, especially in the fast-paced, social society we live in today, there will be consequences — whether positive or otherwise.

Be careful what you say, or don’t; it’s ultimately up to you. You have the right to your own opinion and have the right to say it whenever you want. Just know, when you put your words out there for people to hear or read, you are in the spotlight whether you want to be or not.

Since you are now in the same category as Ke$ha now (LOL well, maybe not), there are ways to deal with the spotlight. Keep this quote from the popular Hunger Games trilogy in mind, “They’ll either want to kill you, kiss you, or be you.”

Have an opinion, because that means you are a human-being; express it because that means you are an American; and revel in it, because that means you believe in something.

Taylor Riley
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