Remember where you are right now. Why? Because one day your grandkids will ask you what this moment in history was like. We're witnessing 13 million stories being shared in just two words.
We're watching the silent millions come forward. We're showing our daughters how to find their voices. We're learning how to be better leaders.
Add another one to the list. This week we learned that two words can spark a movement, and those words are "Me too."
Few of us grew up with the words to express our deepest, darkest experiences. "I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt, thinking all along that I, a nine-year-old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man," posted actress America Ferrera.
To describe what I mean by "giving a voice," allow me to illustrate the point with an example from the opposite end of the emotional spectrum.
Years ago, I worked on the famous DeBeers Diamonds campaign, "A diamond is forever." I'll never forget one piece of market research, because it was such a raw look inside human nature.
According to this research, the main reason a man gives a diamond gift to his significant other is because he can't find the perfect words to articulate how he feels. His gift opens the conversation.
The ring symbolizes a feeling too beautiful for words. #MeToo symbolizes an experience too ugly to be spoken. Yet they both demonstrate a lesson we can all apply in work and life:
In our crowded, busy, overwhelmed world, the most powerful messages are also the simplest.
It's not just a hashtag -- it's a movement.
No advertising campaign has matched the emotional intensity of this grassroots cause. It's the exact opposite of a carefully crafted TV script or a glossy logo. It's real. And not like reality TV-real, but real.
#MeToo doesn't succeed in spite of not having an ad agency behind it, but because of it.
The idea of "me too" isn't new, but the intensity is.
A decade ago, Tarana Burke created the first Me Too campaign.
In her massively popular TED talk, Brené Brown says, "If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three things to grow: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can't survive. The two most powerful words when we're in struggle? 'Me too.'"
#MeToo might not be a silver bullet, but it could be a silver lining.
It might be too early to start talking about a "bright side" of this whole story. But I will make a prediction. In a tiny sliver of irony, an abuse of power against women has begun a shift in the other direction.
Eventually, the hashtag itself might fade from our Twitter streams and Facebook posts. And that's probably okay, because it doesn't just live in social media.
It will live in awkward encounters after work and in violent arguments with lovers. It will live in our offices and our homes, with people we trust and with strangers in dark alleys.
This conversation will continue as long as sexual abuse does.
The hashtag may become quiet, but the bell cannot be unrung
You might decide to be part of #MeToo in social media, or you might not. Either way is fine -- as long as you're not silent.
We can't raise strong daughters if we're afraid to speak out.
We can't be leaders if we're afraid to actually say something.
One day, I hope this article will become archaic and forgotten. I hope sexual abuse is a thing of the past.
But until that day comes, I have just two words for you: