Certain words stick with you, and that’s definitely the case with this speech. Back in 2015, Ed Sheeran spoke at the American Institute for Stuttering’s Freeing Voices Changing Lives Benefit Gala. Why are we posting about it now? Because the internet doesn’t want us to forget. Sheeran’s words are just too empowering to be forgotten.
During his speech, Sheeran admits that he was a “weird” kid who had a birth mark, glasses and a stutter.
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“I was a very, very weird child. Very weird child. And I had a port-wine stain birthmark on my face that I got lasered off when I was very young, and one day they forgot to put the anesthetic on, and then ever since then I had a stutter. And I also had very, very big blue NHS glasses,” he said.
And it was actually through music—his very first rap album, in fact—that he was able to get over his stuttering.
“I want to stress the point that stuttering is not a thing you have to be worried about at all, and even if you have quirks and weirdness, you shouldn’t be worried about that,” he said. “Just be yourself because there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you, and if you try to be the cool kid from class, you’ll end up being very boring. Just be yourself. Embrace your quirks—being weird is a wonderful thing.”
Even years later, people online are still responding to these words. After all, it can be powerful to learn that someone many people idolize also had to overcome adversity.
One Facebook user responded to a video of the speech, writing, “This guy, right here…the more I learn of him, about him. This young man could change the world. Research his biography. The humanitarian things he’s done. Now this. It’s refreshing to have a celebrity actually get out and do the good that all the other ‘celebrities’ whine about needing to be done.”
Sheeran has been involved with a number of charities, including Red Nose Day, so it’s nice to know that he’s working to empower, encourage and give back.
Now that’s someone worthy of being held in such high regard!