Sunday, the 17th was my last NaBloMoPo post and I have to confess after writing that post my week turned to crap. So there is no way I am going to succeed at this challenge, but I’m going to at least try to post everyday to the end of the November to make up for last week.
Over the weekend a wonderful article appeared from Jacinta Tynan, a local news reader and newspaper columnist. The article talked about the importance to Jacinta of speaking out, or in her words “speaking her truth” and the price she has paid for doing so. Jacinta explains:
My intolerance for insincerity, inequity and just plain bitchiness is palpable. I try to let it slide, making my dissent clear by keeping my distance. But that’s followed by uneasiness. By my silence, have I not contributed to the problem?
I have learnt the hard way that there are consequences to being candid. Although there is never any malice on my part, I have copped it for speaking my mind.
You can read the article here.
Dear Jacinta, I know exactly how you feel.
It’s not that I think the world is entitled to my opinion. In fact, it is no hardship to keep it to myself. Rather, it is the need to prevent further bitchiness or injustice from occurring. I just don’t understand the need for either one. There are better ways to deal with disagreement, frustration and issues in general and we should be doing what we can to build bridges rather than blowing them up.
There is no doubt though that this is the harder road to hoe. And not only is it harder, it is also far more sparsely travelled. And like Jacinta, more often than not I don’t see the broadside coming, simply because I don’t act that way. So it does cost to speak my truth, and I have the scars to prove it. I acknowledge that my truth is not absolute and that everyone has their own truth, but for resolution or advancement someone, somewhere has to start with speaking their truth.
I have noticed that there are more than a few people who lie in wait to pounce on those that speak their truth. They don’t actually speak their own, but rather just spend their life countering or commenting on other people’s truths and in this way they let others, like me, step on the land mines. But I have never been a follower and I am not about to start now.
So for all of you who speak your truth, I salute you. Whilst it comes at a cost, the personal cost of not doing so is much higher. So like Jacinta, I have to conclude that:
As wounded as I’ve been by the occasional fallout from my frankness, I would like to keep being that person. One who speaks her mind. It might be risky – not everyone will love you – but it’s the only way to generate a meaningful connection, something not on offer if it’s all smiles and watching your words. To speak from the heart with empathy and compassion is a contribution, however small, to a more meaningful life. You don’t leave much of a legacy by keeping mum.
Wisdom is teaching me compassion and empathy and the journey will only ever be complete when that final land mine decides to explode.
Is this something you grapple with also?
18 thoughts on “Speaking Out: Are You Prepared to Pay the Price? # NaBloPoMo”
we don’t tell the truth for fear of hurting or maiming, we keep opinions to ourselves – usually when we are younger. As we age we get to the “I don’t give a toss if no one likes or agrees with what I say”. We should be like this to an extent – as long as we are not causing harm to any individual – speaking the truth is coming from our heart/our gut – who we are. 🙂 xx
Yes, when we are younger it is all about being liked. it’s quite liberating when you can let that need go. I think the key as Jacinta puts it is compassion and empathy, there is no need to be brutal in how you convey things. Hugs and kisses right back atchya 🙂 xx
I tend to remain silent. Always the conflict-avoider I am. But your (and Jacinta’s) words make sense. This world needs people who speak out, so thank you!
Thanks Carrie. Sometimes, I truly wonder…
If we share the truth in the manner we would prefer to hear it, then it is a far greater service, than being condescending or spiteful. I had a friend share some constructive criticism on something I wrote. On the whole, he liked the message, but he said I buried the lead and those who I was trying to convince may not have read past my introduction. That was wonderful feedback, as he was totally correct, but offered it in an appropriate way. With all of that said, we still need to judge the audience, as it sometimes better to remain silent. As an extreme, never argue with a street preacher, as if he is zealous enough to stand on a corner saying bigoted things, he is not going to listen to you.
Constructive feedback is actually a huge gift and those brave enough to give it are keepers. I have never argued with a street preacher, but then again I can’t really recall seeing any here in Australia. I will remember your wise counsel if I ever bump into one. I think debate is healthy and important, but for some the challenge seems to be to differentiate the ideas and issues from the person delivering them. Attacking the person in lieu of the idea really frustrates me.
Judy, you have hit the nail in the head. We must focus on the issues not the individual whenever possible. With our kids, we have focused on what they did or failed to do, sometimes, reiterating, I love you, but….With some other folks it is hard, if the individual is consistently being bigoted, mean-spirited, misinformed or devious in what they do and say. Depending on the situation, I might say, I disagree with your position, don’t find that to be true or I might say nothing at all. Good post and comments, BTG
Never wrestle with a pig… you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.
I have cut down on my pig wrestling, but in my book, the truth will always win…even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Continue to lead Judy !
Yes, I think a wise man told me the same thing when he was recently in Australia ;). Too many pigs, spoil the trough or something like that…
Thanks for sentiment behind your words. They are much appreciated.
I have often spoken my truth and it leads to chaos. I have been verbally beaten down and cast aside from people who I thought were friends. This hurt and stopped me for some time, but I came to the conclusion that if I am not honest with those I see and can talk to and feel, then, how in the world can I ever be honest with God? He sees all, knows all, and knows the tiniest thought, pain, and hurt in the deep corners of my heart.
So, I have become honest, I do speak what I need to. I am learning grace also, to speak when it is the right time, not a time where I will, unwillingly with my words, beat someone down and cause permanent damage. It is a fine line and I don’t always get it right. Thanks for this post and for the thoughts.
You still rock challenges, in my mind and you are still up on that hero pedistal as far as I am concerned! Love your writing!
DAF, you delight me with your comments. Thank you my friend for the encouragement, It is tough and indeed a challenge in getting it right. I don’t always succeed either, but I think I would rather have the heat than stand by watching someone else be unjustifiably picked on.
I agree, it is much easier to speak my mind now compared to when I was much younger. Now, I say, let’s cut the crap and get to the bottom of whatever the problem is. Time is precious, Let’s not waste it pretending to avoid the elephant in the room.
The world would indeed be a much better place without the crap. We would use more crap cutters like you, Tess. Glad you’re fighting the good fight with me.
Did I mention that Let’s Cut The Crap seems like a really good Internet name ;)?
Hahahahahahahahahaha. Thank YOU. It appears to catch some notice. What a brand, eh? 🙂 I wasn’t sure about it at first but I figured, “What the heck. I can’t stand beating around the bush.”
I will speak out, but it must matter and be helpful to the situation. Sometimes I feel my silence is misunderstood for passiveness, when in fact it’s my way of choosing my battles. Not every thing is worth a fight. Great post and perfect timing for me.
Glad it resonated and maybe helped. Yes, picking the hill you’re prepared to die on is definitely something that is learned with wisdom.
I think in the long run it’s better to be open and honest. You see who your true friends and supporters are and purge out the phoniness.
Indeed, as one ages authenticity in friends becomes more important.