BTS heartfelt message to young people at UNGA
From feeling alone to feeling hopeless, they shared their struggles during COVID-19 to remind us what binds us. Full speech here.
K-pop band and UNICEF supporters BTS deliver a video message at a high-level side event at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, “Protraction of the COVID-19 Crisis: Mitigating the Impact and Protecting Future Generations.”
BTS LOVE MYSELF campaign supports UNICEF’s #ENDviolence campaign.
My name is RM, the leader of the group BTS.
Two years ago here, I asked your name.
I urged you to let me hear your voice.
And I let myself be filled with imagination.
As a boy from the small city of Ilsan in Korea,
as a young man standing at the U.N. General Assembly,
as a global citizen of this world,
I imagined the limitless possibilities before all of us, my heart beating with excitement.
But COVID-19 was beyond my imagination.
Our world tour was canceled, all our plans went awry,
and I became alone.
I looked up but couldn’t see the stars at night.
I felt hopeless. Everything fell apart.
I could only look outside my window,
I could only go to my room.
Yesterday, I was singing and dancing with fans around the world,
and now my world had shrunk to a room.
And then, my friends took my hand.
We comforted each other and talked about what we could do together.
Life became simple, maybe for the first time.
It was a precious time, unwanted but welcome.
I’m used to an entire world shrinking in an instant.
When I’m on tour, I stand in bright lights and loud cheers,
but at night back in my room my world becomes only a few paces wide.
The room itself was small,
but my world and our world reached far and wide.
In this world we had our instruments, our phones and our fans.
But this time it felt different. It felt lonelier and smaller.
Why? I thought for a long time.
I thought, maybe because it became harder to imagine.
I was frustrated and depressed,
but I took notes, wrote songs, and thought about who I was.
“If I give up here, then I’m not the star of my life.”
“This is what an awesome person would do.”
I don’t know who was first.
We embraced all these emotions and the seven of us began to make music together.
This is where the music came from, and this made us honest.
Our lives are unpredictable.
We don’t know all the answers.
I knew where I wanted to go, but not how I could get there.
All I did to get here was trust ourselves, and do my best, and love what I do.
I found again the people I love. The other members, my family, my friends.
I found the music I love, and I found myself.
Thinking about the future and trying hard are all important.
But cherishing yourself, encouraging yourself and keeping yourself happy is the most important.
In a world of uncertainty,
we must cherish the importance of “me,” “you” and “us”.
That’s the message of “Love Myself” we talked about for three years,
It’s the message in the lyrics of our song Dynamite: “I’m diamond, you know I glow up”.
One night we were working together.
Namjoon said he couldn’t see the stars any more,
but I saw my face reflected in the window. I saw all of our faces.
Our songs became the stories we wanted to tell each other.
We live in uncertainty, but really, nothing’s changed.
If there’s something I can do, if our voices can give strength to people,
then that’s what we want and that’s what we’ll keep on doing.
When I start feeling lost,
I remember my face in the window, like Jung Kook said.
I remember the words I spoke here two years ago.
“Love yourself, speak yourself”.
Now more than ever, we must try to remember who we are, and face who we are.
We must try to love ourselves, and imagine the future.
BTS will be there with you.
Our tomorrow may be dark, painful, difficult. We might stumble or fall down.
Stars shine brightest when the night is darkest.
If the stars are hidden, we’ll let moonlight guide us.
If even the moon is dark, let our faces be the light that helps us find our way.
Let’s Reimagine our world. We’re huddled together tired, but let’s dream again.
Let’s dream about a future when our worlds can break out of our small rooms again.
It might feel like it’s always night and we’ll always be alone,
But the night is always darkest before the first light of dawn.
Life goes on. Let’s live on.