31 Aug

In this day and age we are strongly encouraged to be politically correct and go along, and there seems a constant suggestion of conformity.  Everywhere we turn there is the implication that if we don’t follow the currently approved norm we are out of step.  Along with this there is a seeming lack of appreciation for individuality.  Instead of being leaders, we’re encouraged to be followers. We are told to speak out minds but often only if what’s on our minds is what the group thinks we should be thinking about. When did it become distasteful to have our own opinions? We are certainly entitled to them, but it seems that expressing them, if they are different from the group, is more and more frowned on. It’s a sad situation, and it’s boggling.

There is great value in saying exactly how we feel and speaking plainly. Talking in circles, dodging the issue, and dancing around a problem afraid of being offensive never solves anything. But if our main concern is not offending others, we may find ourselves doing just that. The great people of history, and the great examples of today, are direct and clear in their speech. They know what they believe in and it doesn’t matter if others disagree with them. They say what needs to be said with focus and determination. They don’t care if they’re swimming upstream, and they don’t care if nobody else believes in what they’re doing.  They believe in it and that’s enough. It takes courage to say what we think is right.  We may certainly say whatever we think needs to be said, and we may say it boldly, and with conviction.

Our viewpoints are valid, our opinions are worthwhile, and our comments are meaningful. We don’t have to be followers. We can choose to be leaders and share our ideas, our vision, and our perspective. The greatest innovations of our time were created going against the norm. The greatest ideas were often initially laughed at. But innovation starts with a great idea to do something new. Some people are threatened by what they don’t know and they will always be followers. We don’t have to be followers. We can say what we mean and mean what we say. We don’t have to go along, we can call a spade a spade.  After all, that’s exactly what it is, and facing things as they are is critical when we’re communicating.

Today if you’re being encouraged to follow along and you aren’t comfortable, speak up. You are as important as anyone else, and your ideas are just as valid. Be clear and be courageous. You can be kind and polite, and still hold fast to your opinion. Being who you really are is important.  Be your best self, and always be your true self.

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