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Speak Up

29 Oct

There are people in our lives that we hold dear and love very much. They may be family members, friends or intimate relationships. We value them and want to support them and care for them, and sometimes because of our intense feelings for them, we may go along with their choices even when we know they aren’t wise. Maybe they are dishonest in their dealings with others but we don’t want to upset them so we say nothing. Maybe they lie about situations or intentions, and we know they aren’t going to follow through but we look the other way. And maybe they pretend to care about something or someone in order to move forward to a goal they are seeking, when in fact they only want the goal and don’t care what they have to say or do to get it. If we love them intensely, and are afraid of their response to criticism, we may remain silent and blindly go along with them. When we don’t speak up and tell the truth, if the situation is inappropriate or dishonest and we say nothing, we enable them to continue. And if we enable a situation that is dishonest or inappropriate to continue, and we say nothing, we own part of the pain or disharmony that results.

It’s very difficult to point out possible errors in behavior to those we love. It can be very hard if it’s our spouse, our lover, or our parent. It’s hard to tell them we can’t go along with them if they are dishonest or hurtful. We love them and don’t want to hurt them, and we don’t want to damage our relationship with them. But if we say nothing, and simply let them continue doing things that are wrong or destructive, if we let them hurt others and say nothing, we become part of the problem. Most of us know when we’re hurting those around us. We know when we’re being dishonest, and we generally know who near us is aware of what we’re doing. If we watch someone we love do these things and say nothing, it gives power to the behavior to continue. We can tell ourselves it’s not our problem, and we can pretend we aren’t involved. But the fact is, if we know it’s happening, and we want what’s best for those we love, we need to address it.

We own our decisions and everything we do. We get to choose what kind of people we are and what we want in our lives. We can be dishonest, we can cheat, we can be hurtful, and unkind, and we can play along when others act out. We can keep quiet, and watch from the sidelines and not get involved. Or we can step up and choose the nobler path. We can stand up for what’s right no matter who is involved. We can defend truth, and with love, express concern over situations that are inappropriate or incorrect. Whatever we choose to do makes us who we are. If we speak up and nothing changes, we did the best we could. But if things do change, and situations improve, we may do much to prevent the pain and suffering of others. It is noble and wise to set a good example. It is worthwhile to stand up and speak when things aren’t right. We know what to do and it’s important that we are strong, and brave enough to do what’s right, even with those we love.

Today if you’ve been watching someone close to you hurt others or make decisions that are detrimental or destructive, you can say something. You can show you love them by telling them what you see. They may take your words to heart or they may ignore you. But if you speak up, you will know you did your best. Doing our best is imperative in this life. It makes us who we are, and defines our priorities. Today, show you care by speaking up and helping those you love be their best as well.

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