If you write and ever wonder if people are reading, the short answer is “yes.” I haven’t written for a few weeks due to a myriad of issues. Saying that I don’t have time is merely an excuse for the truth. I didn’t believe I had productive words to add to the thousands of things being thrown at us during these historic times.
Instead, I have been taking time to sit in silence. I believe many people are overwhelmed by what it happening in the world. Regardless of what happens in the world, we all have to deal with our own personal and professional struggles as well. I have heard recently that 45 million people are out of work in the US. This comes on top of the long list of issues we have in our country and around the world. The anger and frustration from people has reached new heights along with our with our ability to tolerate the status quo.
No matter where we sit from a political perspective, there is much to learn. I have had some conversations with intent to help friends, family, and people that I have met along the way. Since I have been asked to share my perspective, I decided to take a little time this Sunday morning to write and add my voice. From here, I will share a few things I have been thinking about. Please know that I am not looking to move or persuade anyone into my line of thinking, just sharing a singular perspective. Essentially, things I talk to my children about.
Silence is a Circle
Shapes of Silence
If we are silent about issues we are passionate about and we say nothing, these issues will always come back to haunt us.
Silence is a Square
If we are silent about our history, we are bound to repeat it and we will suffer the pain of sharp turns in direction. Our history will repeat and we will suffer the same consequences.
Silence is a Triangle
Depending on where you sit in your views, silence can offer a temporary reprieve, but you are bound to find yourself where you started from high to low, low to high.
All shapes mentioned have the same thing in common: we wind up back where we started.
The Fear of Speaking
I have written posts in the past that initiated some very uncomfortable conversations and at least one that had people saying very hurtful things. Speaking your opinion today is more than a matter of courage, it becomes history and it is memorialized. If we say something hurtful or without thought, we are held as accountable as if we fired a bullet. You can lose friends, lose a job, lose connections. Clearly, we have to think before we speak and speak with clear intention.
The cost of remaining silent becomes a bill or a tax. The energy we may expend in our own personal silence is the tax and the silence itself will manifest itself at some point as a “bill come due.”
The Inevitability of Conflict
A child is playing in a sandbox. She has her own bucket and shovel, and she is building a beautiful castle for her princess to walk through and enjoy her imaginary land. She spends the child’s eternity of time building, shaping, and developing her story. Another family arrives at the sandbox and has two children, a little boy and girl. They run around the sandbox playing tag, pushing and shoving. As they get closer the little girl, she notices them but stays focused in her world. They continue to play and run and skip and jump and “Oh no!” They destroy her castle. The boy stands there looking at the pile of sand that was once a castle, he scratches his head, shrugs his shoulders and moves on. The sister also stands there and looks at the little girl and what is left of the structure. This is the defining moment. Who remains silent? Who says something? Who takes an action?
There are many paths to choose from here and there is opportunity for the parents to help as well. Regardless, the little girl lost her castle as she had built it, as she had envisioned it, and as she had shaped it. This is the world we live in . There are many people that will stomp your castle and not give a shit. There are many people that will intentionally take your space including the castle because they believe this is theirs (for whatever reason). There are also the people that will trip or step on you and the castle to hurt you. There are so many reasons that people create and cause pain for others. There are other things to consider here. Someone made the sandbox and the bucket for the little girl to play in. Someone made the space for her and others to enjoy. We live in an unfair world. We are not born with a natural moral compass. If we were, we wouldn’t require law or structure in any fashion. Finally, we have to identify these moments where we can choose to make a difference. We need to stay conscious and awake to what we do and be prepared to think through in a flash what our action or lack of action means.
It is also important in these critical times to learn about how to deal with conflict. In all situations, there is always some form of acceptance. The idea of win-win is really accept-accept.
Finally, I acknowledge there is a time for silence as on occasion we need to let things play out. We also have to give people an opportunity to self realize or learn on their own. If they can’t do this, and they continue to stomp on your sand castle or someone else’s in your view, you have to make a decision.
Clearly, the world can naturally erase us as well, just like the letters in the sand. We are here for a moment, what are you going to do with it?