Recently, a friend and I had a disagreement. Okay, actually it was a fight. My friend said something I did not like, I objected, my friend got angry and spewed all over me. One of the things my friend said was “You have an 18 gauge wire connecting your brain directly to your mouth. Whatever you think, you say.” I suspect it was not meant as a compliment, but I took it as such. I like to think I say what is on my mind. The reality is that I usually don’t. This exchange is a perfect example of why I don’t. When I say what I think, it usually comes back to bite me in the butt.
Admittedly, in this particular case, I was angry and what I said, even though I stand on it, was probably not stated in the most diplomatic way. However, in most cases, the atmosphere is not so highly charged. I will see a situation that I feel needs to be addressed, yet I don’t because I fear the consequences. I want people to listen, but I don’t want them to react. How cowardly is that?
I guess it is important that there be an element of emotion involved. If I get fired up enough about something, I will speak. I remember that happening in a planning meeting I attended. I quietly sat through the meeting, listening to everyone, when finally someone made a preposterously ill-conceived suggestion. I saw everyone nodding in agreement with that suggestion. I became alarmed at that and said to the moderator, “Gimme the microphone.” I don’t recall exactly what I said, but I was on a roll. My heart was pounding, my voice was a little higher timbre than normal, and when it was over people were applauding. Yeah, they went with my suggestion.
Now if I could only get that passionate about the real issues in life — justice, mercy, love, and the rest — what things I would say.
ljg (c) 2015