I struggle often with whether or not I should speak up when I feel compelled. My gut will tell me my voice doesn’t matter and my mind will tell me no one will listen.
What if I make someone mad? What if I’m wrong? How many people have already hidden me on Facebook? Does any of this matter?
Those are just a few of the questions that pummel my mind when I’m feeling passionate about something. The Facebook question is mostly a joke, but only “mostly” because I have no doubt that someone has done it. We live in such hyper-partisan times that sometimes the most broad declarations of truth are construed as “Us vs. Them.” That’s stupid, and you can quote me on it.
Seriously. So much of the national conversation focuses on the difference between right and wrong, but frames it as left and right. Why are so many of our friends falling for such blatant divisiveness? If we are truly at the crossroads of “right and wrong” as a partisan issue, then I’m not sure how we get back to reason.
Speaking of crossroads, I feel like I’m at a personal one now. I promise this will all come together in the end. I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. Where do I go from here? My momentum has stalled a bit as I’ve hit a few of the first speed bumps of my “real world,” post-college life. I look for ways to get back on track, I look at the world around me and I feel like I’ve been hit with the uncomfortable truth that too many people set an example of climbing the ladder in ways I simply do not believe are right.
Here’s an example of my mind getting the best of me. I posted this on Facebook tonight:
“Despite the many examples set for us on a regular basis, I still believe it is wrong to lie, cheat and scream your way to the top. I still believe there must be kindness, compassion and honesty in leadership roles.
Call it naivety. Call it wishful thinking. I won’t be swayed.”
I thought for a long time about if I wanted to post that. That! It’s such a silly insecurity, but I once again found my mind trying to trick me out of using my voice — To not speak up about something I feel strongly is the right thing. What if someone doesn’t like it? To quote a John Mulaney bit, “When I walk down the street, I need everybody, all day long, to like me so much. It’s exhausting.”
Who cares! Say it anyway.
The truth is: It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but it matters to me. It matters to know there are others who haven’t been swept up in this weird war of partisanship we’re in. It matters to me if there is just one person who may see what I have to say and start to think twice about how he conducts himself.
Our voice is powerful, even when we feel like it isn’t. Especially when we feel like it isn’t! Of course, our voice isn’t always enough. Take it to the proper people and forums. I believe the right people will listen when we show how much we care.
Then, when it comes to civic matters, vote like you care.
We can make our communities better when we speak up against what we know to be wrong. Don’t feel pressured into keeping quiet out of convenience or fear or because you need everyone to like you.
Because it really doesn’t matter if someone hides me on Facebook. Bye.