On September 24th several leaders from around the world gathered at the United Nation General Assembly in New York to discuss the UNICEF sponsored project ‘Youth 2030’ or otherwise known as ‘Generation Unlimited’ aiming to give the youth of today the initiation, motivation and drive to strive for their futures through proper education, training and employment. But as well as these leaders, among those speaking were none other than global superstars BTS.
Leader RM gave an incredibly powerful speech expressing the turmoil’s in his youth wondering about what his purpose was and how music became to be his passion and life.
“‘In the intro to one of our old songs, there’s a line that says my heart stopped when I was maybe nine or 10. Looking back, that is when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes…Even after making the decision to join BTS, some people might not believe it, but some people thought we were hopeless, and sometimes I wanted to quit”
He expressed how the group persevered through what others thought about them, the messages they portrayed through their music such as criticisms of the education system, anxiety and other mental illnesses which has become such a part of why their core fanbase, ARMY, adores them, which has led them to become such a powerful force not only in Korea but internationally too.
Continuing onto possibly the most vital and important part of the speech RM stated “Yesterday’s me is still me. Today, I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes…I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was, and for who I hope to become…No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, your gender identity, just speak yourself’
The speech given by RM perfectly outlines what the campaign is striving for; understanding who you are as an individual and fuelling your passions and your strengths to enable you to be able to flourish in your life and strive to be the best version of yourself.
While some may wonder why BTS were chosen to be present at such an event, their music can only tell that story for them. Aside from them being ambassadors for the #EndViolence UNICEF campaign for the past year while hosting their Love Myself campaign, the group have always been conscious about the messages their music portrays. For their whole career the seven boys have been expressing their truth through their music, whether it be the worries and loneliness expressed in Whalien 52, or more recently their need to strive for self-love in Answer: Love Myself. The raw honesty of their music has not only attracted millions of fans but also provided comfort and motivation to those fans. BTS are a wonderful examples of artists who are using their platform for the greater good and it is no wonder the UN chose them for this conference.
You can watch the Generation Unlimited speech given by BTS below.