October 06, 2015

What I Have Learned About Speaking Up and Out

I have been, at times, scared to speak up about certain things. I think a lot of people share this problem. Some of us, depending on the situation, may be more at ease commenting about certain topics more than others.

A dark grey megaphone picto with the words, "speak out!" in white on a light red watercolour background by OneQuarterMama.ca.
A dark grey megaphone picto with the words, "speak out!" in white on a light red watercolour background.

Sometimes on Facebook, I was scared of sharing some of my views, in case it offends family members who I rarely see or know very well. But over time, I started to let pieces out. I think also I've learnt that I don't have to disclose everything about myself in order to stand up for others. Standing up for homosexuals having equal rights doesn't make me a homosexual anymore than speaking out against routine circumcision means I have a penis. I think some of my initial hesitancy was because I didn't want people to think that perhaps I was some of the things I was standing up for. (Which, of course, was my issue to work through)

What I've also discovered, much to my delight, is how many people were already in my camp, but either could not or did not speak up. Of course, we all use social media for different reasons. I happen to be very political on mine, but I also share cute animal pictures. What I've come to understand is that even if people aren't necessarily posting and speaking out, they still carry those thoughts with them. For them, it is safer and easier to simply "like" or comment on something I said, rather than to say it themselves. I think this is ok, as everyone has their limits. There are times when the rallying of the troops is necessary and hopefully they will allow their voices to be heard, but it is still heartening to me to see those "likes" and comments and know I'm not alone.

I know I do it to let others know they're not alone. I do it to see who's in my camp, many of whom I didn't expect. I do it to share ideas. I do it for discussions and for others to keep me accountable. I do it for those who have no voice. I do it to keep learning. 

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