On Sept. 23, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook of BTS delivered a speech about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the 75th United Nations General Assembly. As is always the case with BTS, the Korean band provided words of hope and encouragement during a troubling time. The central theme of BTS’ speech?
“Life goes on.”
BTS’ Jimin described how hopeless he felt
After RM introduced the speech, Jimin detailed what the pandemic has been like for him. The BTS singer described how hopeless he felt, something many around the world can relate to.
“I felt hopeless. Everything fell apart,” he said. “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.”
Jimin then explained that through his friends, he found comfort.
“And then, my friends took my hand. We comforted each other and talked about what we could do together,” said Jimin.
Suga on how life became simple
After Jimin, Suga related the isolation of the pandemic to BTS’ touring experience.
“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,” said Suga. “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.”
V shared how frustrated he was
V echoed Suga’s statements about a small room, but added that he felt frustrated for a long time.
“But this time it felt different. It felt lonelier and smaller. Why? I thought for a long time… I was frustrated and depressed, but I took notes, wrote songs, and thought about who I was. I thought, ‘If I give up here, then I’m not the star of my life. This is what an awesome person would do,’” he said.
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J-Hope on how BTS began to make music
Fans of BTS know that the group is expected to release an album toward the end of the year. J-Hope explained that the septet embraced all of the conflicting emotions they felt during this uncertain time to try and make music.
“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,” said J-Hope. “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, do my best, and love what I do.”
Jin encouraged people to love themselves
Jin’s message to those watching the speech focused on love and self-care.
“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,” Jin said. “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.’”
He then connected that message to the message from BTS’ Love Yourself album series and their new single “Dynamite.”
Jungkook promised BTS will support others
More than anything, Jungkook told those watching that he wants BTS to provide comfort and stability to those who need it.
“One night we were working together. RM 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 doing,” he said.
RM encouraged people to push past the darkness
To close the speech, RM called back to his UN speech from 2018.
“When I start feeling lost, I remember my face in the window, like Jungkook 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.”
He continued, “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. But the stars shine brightest when the night is darkest.”
The group then concluded the speech with the phrase, “Life goes on.”
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