For introverts like me, I tend to let unsettling matters fester inside me until they reach a point where I have to speak up. Unlike others who feel free to just speak whatever comes to mind the moment it comes to mind, we introverts are less likely to do so unless we’re in the presence of our closest friends and family. There is both good and bad in that. On the good side, our mouths tend to get us in trouble a little less. On the bad side, we let our guts churn to an unhealthy degree before speaking up, and if we’re not careful, we eventually let go with a pent-up reaction that causes others to think, “Where did that come from?”
I’m not a fan of those who think that everyone else around them always needs to know what is on their mind. People usually can get through their days just fine without a floodgate of other people’s opinions on a host of subjects filling their ears and their social media news feeds. It may be people’s right to speak up, but it is also their right to remain silent. At times, I wish more exercised the latter right.
Our country is divided on many social topics about which many millions on both sides of the issues are passionate. That is expected and that is OK. It’s alright for both sides to express their opinion, and each should be able to do so without fear of ridicule and reprisal. We must celebrate the freedom of speech we enjoy in this country – a freedom too many other countries do not offer their citizens. What we must never get to is a point where we cease to tolerate the expression of opposing viewpoints. We must not become intolerant in the name of tolerance. That is hypocrisy.
All of our public protests, marches, social media efforts and other forms of pleading our cause may or may not change anyone else’s mind on a subject. It is still up to each individual what he/she believes. Each must choose when to speak and when to remain silent. For my own peace of mind, though, I know that when I have deep-seated feelings and beliefs on a matter, I reach a point where, for my own emotional and physical health, I have to speak up. I encourage you, whatever your position on hot-button issues, to do the same.
Speak your mind for peace of mind, and allow others the freedom to do the same.