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To Speak or Not To Speak

To Speak or Not To Speak

Being on anti-depresant medication for the last two years did something no one ever thought could be accomplished within me. It shut me up.

Before going on medication, I was the type that had to say it. I had to say what everyone else was thinking. I had to point out the obvious just incase it wasn’t obvious enough. I had to correct, commend, argue, lecture… Then I started anti-depresant medication and I suddenly found the calming sense to keep things to myself. A Que Sera Sera mentality.

I found the calming sense to pray before speaking and even to let a lot of things go. Now I am one month off of medication. Now I am learning how to speak once again.

I’ve realized that God gave me a mouth and He wants me to use it. He also gave me a way with words that makes it easy as pie for me to find something to say in any given moment.

I remember in junior high my teacher’s fly was down and everyone chose me to be the one to say something to the teacher. I wasn’t afraid and I knew how to sandwich an apology, bad news and compliment. “I’m so sorry to interrupt you, but your fly is down, we don’t want it to take away from your inspiring lesson.”

I’m not afraid to speak up. I’m not afraid of conflict. I am afraid of saying something that makes me stand out like a sore thumb. As the one person bold enough to say “it”, you can imagine that makes me an easy target for those that stand together in a main stream pack. I’m the one suddenly going against the flow. And even after graduating high school, peers still don’t like that.

I find my self having to learn that the tension of feeling there is something needed to be said is not one I ought to turn into a panic attack. There’s no ticking time bomb concerning the time I take to speak up. I can take a deep breath and collect my thoughts.

There still remains some urgency in speaking up soon, lest I talk myself out of saying anything at all. And some may wonder, why does it matter? Why stir the pot? Why say something that everyone is likely thinking anyway? Why share a point of view that’s not easily accepted?

But then one needs to wonder, why are we each given our own point of view and unique thinking patterns? Is my way of thinking, a small piece necessary in this puzzle called life?

When speaking one’s mind, one has to be mature enough to stand firm when responded to by peers. Quick to listen. Slow to speak. Slow to get angry.

Don’t be afraid of letting someone disagree with you. Sometimes that disagreement may cause you to second guess your own opinion. It takes maturity to do so without attacking another person.

Don’t let the phrase “agree to disagree”, be code for, “shut up!”. Before shutting someone up, it’s worth it to listen to their point of view. Share your own point of view and then and only then, decide your next coarse of action.

The number one cause of death when injured while surrounded by people is when everyone believes someone else will help. Do you believe someone else will speak up and give your point of view?

Speaking up can sometimes mean ending a friendship. Speaking up can mean humbling oneself. Speaking up can mean starting an argument. There’s as much maturity in speaking up as there is in quietly collecting one’s thoughts. But only one of those acts can impact the world.

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