by Deborah A. Bailey
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
When there are opinions to be shared, often the loudest people will take up the most space. We see this all the time on social media.
Often people use a platform to stir up trouble, show how “contrarian” they are (because it is another way to get attention) or to drown out the opinions of others.
But there are times when having an opinion is much more important than creating social media clout. It’s about standing up for what you feel is right. And, that can happen online, on the world stage, or in your everyday life.
Are you standing up for your own ideals and principles? Have you ever taken a stand with someone who you feel is being unfairly maligned? Called out a wrong, or worked for an issue you believe in? Or do you just sit on the sidelines, never making your voice heard? Yes, there are times to stand back and let others lead. But, there are also times to take a stand.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education.”
Unfortunately, when I was in school a lot of my lessons were taught using memorization. We learned about important historical dates and events, so that we could regurgitate them during exams. But there was no real context or understanding of what those things really meant.
Critical thinking teaches us to examine things and understand what is beneath the surface. To question, and to think about what we’re being taught (and why).
There’s more to learning than memorizing texts. It’s about growth as a person and how you will use those lessons in life, and in the world.
“…And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
The Reverend, Martin Luther King, Jr., eventually spoke out against the Vietnam War and called out how the poor and working class were being treated in society. His anti-war stance did not win him many accolades at that time.
And, to be honest, he was never widely popular during his 35 or so years on this planet – in spite of what many assume today.
Speaking up about things that the majority doesn’t agree with will not win you many friends.
Whether it’s a personal or family issue, something going on in the workplace, or a very public stance you’re taking. To speak up means you must have courage because there are many who will not like it. And they will let you know it.
Are you committed to standing up for what you believe in? Are you willing to be unpopular within your social group – or a larger group? What do you stand for, and what are you willing to do in order to follow that path?
Copyright © 2020 Deborah A. Bailey