It Takes Courage to Speak Your Mind
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~Martin Luther King
Standing up for what you believe and having the courage to speak your mind is not only one of the most admirable traits a person can possess, but it is at the same time one of the most challenging and self fulfilling. It can also leave you standing alone in a crowd at times.
I came across an interesting conversation online recently about commenting in various social media channels, including blogs. The topic of the thread was what to do when you disagree with what is being said. Is it better to simply agree with the conversation rather than make waves, or is it better to say nothing at all. Of course the benefit of agreeing (whether you do or not) is that you gain points as being part of a like-minded group. But the question is, at what cost.
Many of us worry about not fitting in or that our friends will be critical and lack understanding if we dare show that we have a mind of our own. Make no mistake about it, standing up for what you believe in requires courage, and as much as we like to believe that others will swoop-in to defend our honor, more often than not that is unlikely to happen.
Of course like everything in life there are extremes. Sometimes the subject is one that you honestly have no strong feelings about one way or the other, and at other times it may be a topic that is so intensely personal you wouldn’t consider discussing your views with strangers. I am a strong believer in speaking up for things that matter, but at the same time the newsfeed on Facebook is not always the best place to do it.
Ultimately choosing to speak up for the things that truly matter to us is a personal decision. As you give some thought to this topic, here are a few inspiring thoughts from others who have contemplated the value of speaking up about things that matter.
Speak Your Mind
- The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
- When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret. ~Shannon L. Alder
- Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~Martin Luther King
- Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost. ~Chauncey Depew
- It is better to speak your mind and tell the truth than to stay silent and lie to yourself. ~Author Unknown
- Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth. ~Mohandas Gandhi
- Speak your mind. It is often the words which you don’t say that haunt you for the longest time. ~Author Unknown
- Speak your mind and you’ll be heard for a long time, but if you say what people want to hear, it’ll be forgotten in a day. ~Author Unknown
- In Germany they came first for the Communist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up. ~Martin Niemoller
- Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes. ~Maggie Kuhn
As important as it is to speak up, there are times silence says so much more …
- My silence doesn’t mean that I have nothing to say or that I agree with you. It means that you are either not ready, or simply don’t matter enough to hear my words. ~Author Unknown
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