- Arevik Hayrapetyan
Speak up! The world needs you!
There are a number of songs that have become an irreplaceable source of inspiration to me. I have a ritual of recharging myself on daily basis by listening to a song from my “sacred song-list”. The reason I absolutely love those songs is that they have quite deep meaning behind their lyrics.
These songs may not have billions of views on Youtube, like Gangnam style has, but they are truly powerful in making me reconnect with my values, go through difficulties and challenges with my head high and faith in my heart.
The other day as part of my ritual I chose a song by Emelie Sande, called “Read All about It”. My favorite part of the lyrics is:
You've got the words to change a nation but you're biting your tongue You've spent a life time stuck in silence afraid you'll say something wrong If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?
This song beautifully addresses those people who are very shy and fearful to express themselves into the world. Not because they are not smart enough, not because they do not have wonderful ideas, not because they do not have opinions worth considering.
The underlying reason for their silence is the past experience of speaking up and finding out they are wrong or feeling hurt because people misunderstood their ideas.
Whether we like it or not, speaking up makes us vulnerable.
Depending on what type of people you are surrounded by, you can either get constructive feedback on your ideas which will encourage you to improve or you can be harshly criticized for your unconventional way of thinking or at least be laughed at and treated as someone whose opinion does not matter at all.
I know well enough how it feels to be the only person within a specific group to express herself. I know how much courage it takes just to express yourself, when you are sure that you are going to be misunderstood and be considered unreasonable because what you say does not fit into the dogmatic mentality of people around you.
In such situations I always had two choices, either to be silent and fit into the group or speak up and be the hot-spot of group’s criticism. Although I have never had the urge to hide or protect myself under the shelter of majority, maintaining healthy relationships with people, no matter how divergent our views on the issue are, has always been of importance to me. That is why there very cases, not many though; that I just gave up, bought my tongue and convinced myself to remain silent.
But in all those cases when I did not speak up just to avoid confrontation with someone, I felt that I betrayed my values, my true self and it felt even worse than being criticized or being laughed at for what I believed to be true. The lesson I learnt is
It is better to stand up for your values and be criticized or be laughed at, rather than to shut up and betray yourself.
Betraying your core values is the worst betrayal you can ever make.
In the course of time I learnt to seek my inner approval for what I stand for and how I act. This never-ending process I call maturity.
I do not however claim that whatever I say should be the absolute truth, that only I have all the rights answers. On the contrary, there were a lot of times, when I spoke up and found out that I was wrong, that I had incorrect understanding of the matter. But only by speaking up and being wrong that I have been able to learn what is true.
The price of being silent is much higher than speaking up and finding out that you are wrong.
Remember, every time you miss the opportunity to let others know about your ideas, beautiful or crazy, stupid or unreasonable as they may be labelled, you deprive the world, the humanity of being inspired by your originality, your unique talents and gifts.
So throw away all the fears and speak up!
There has never been and will not ever be another You!
Be The Masterpiece,
P.S. Have you ever considered the fact that by just showing genuine care you can be that person who opens up the gifts and talents of another person? Even if that person is hardly able to communicate their ideas, be patient, empower them to speak up, because all they need is just one encouraging look, one empowering word.
P.P.S. What is Your experience of speaking up against all odds or encouraging someone to do the same? Share your story!