I have spent the majority of my life trying, above all, to be nice. I used to enjoy it when people described me as kind, and thoughtful. I thought that it was the best thing to be until it morphed into being timid, quiet, reticent.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that deep down in my core I am kind and thoughtful and gentle. I know it has its benefits and I am grateful that I am primarily made of these elements. As I get older, however, I am beginning to realise the benefit of being vocal about the things I care about, the benefit of being angry about injustices and inequalities.
Being a peacekeeper feels like a safe place to be, it is calm and quiet and soft. It is sheltered and warm, it rarely gets trampled on. It is also unsustainable, and frankly unfair to those who do not get the benefit of being nice all the time. It is important to be aware that all of our voices have power. We have the power to stand up for ourselves, we have the power to stand up for other people, the power to defend those who can’t defend themselves.
Of course, it is important to know when to be kind and when to be outspoken which is obviously a skill that takes some honing, and we will all make mistakes at times. However, do not let that discourage you from finding your voice if you are quiet like I was. It is incredibly important to stand up for the things that we believe in because if not us, then who?
We all wield this power within us, and we are all capable of exercising it when necessary. In the name of helping those whose voices are being suppressed, we need to learn to utilize the power that we have.
I have spent 20+ years being a bystander, someone who relentlessly sits on the fence in the name of avoiding conflict and keeping the peace. Except, the fence isn’t as safe as we would like to believe. When we stay silent about things that harm others, things that oppress and abuse others, we are doing harm also.
It took me a while to find my voice but now that I have it has become a roar. When I waver in my conviction to use the power of my voice, I think of lionesses. Majestic, powerful beasts, unashamed to use their voice when they need to. Sometimes, we all need to be a lion[ess].