The Power of Vulnerability

Is it bad to be vulnerable? Defined by Collins Dictionary, “Someone who is vulnerable is weak and without protection, with the result that they are easily hurt physically or emotionally.” To me, this definition gives the term “vulnerable” a negative perception. A group of Christopher Newport students, alumni and staff set out to change this perception at the annual Speak CNU event, this year’s theme being “The Power of Vulnerability.”

If you have ever seen a Ted Talk, then you should be familiar with the style of the Speak CNU event. Speak CNU allows Captains to speak freely on their personal experiences and stories in a judgement-free zone.

“Vulnerability is a strength, not a hindrance,” as one of the speakers stated. Captains, one by one, stood bravely on stage and shared their stories on how they chose vulnerability over suppressing their feelings. The speakers preached on the power of speaking to a friend, loved one, roommate, counselor and even social media about the difficulties faced in life.

For these Captains, once they admitted their problems, they were able to love themselves and find joy. It was mentioned that it is important to be vulnerable about your feelings not only because it frees your own mind, but it can also help others who find themselves facing similar situations. Staying silent only hurts each other as we can never learn from experiences we never hear. Speak CNU was a very emotional and empowering event that will affect me, and other Captains, for the better. I look forward to embracing my vulnerability.

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