Speak Up About Something -
Henry David Thoreau said, “The masses of men (and women) live lives of quiet desperation.”
That equates to the fact that most people lack the courage or incentive to get involved with the great events of life within their communities, states or nations.
When you attended high school or college, did you join a demonstration for or against something? How about a debate club where you stood up for something you felt needed a champion? Do you watch television nightly with a sense of despair because you can’t do anything about the events streaming before your eyes?
Edmund Burke summed it up, “All that is necessary for triumph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing.”
Average Americans fit the statistics that nine out of ten people lack courage to stand up or speak out or take action against events they deem wrong, immoral or unacceptable. They swallow their frustrations. They cower behind their TV sets. They complain to their friends. They gnash their teeth, but take no actions to change the situation they perceive to be wrong. In other words, they prove Burke’s contention for evil’s triumph.
If you look around the world, average citizens fail to speak up when bad leaders become so corrupt that their countries falter, fail and degrade. Just one look on the international stage shows the results nightly on the news.
Environmentally, huge corporations commit heinous acts of poisoning the natural world with chemicals, genetically modified foods and a host of pollutants that damage every living creature on the planet.
They get away with it when average citizens fail to speak up, or write up or engage in groups to counter the “triumph of evil.”
Every human being can act to right a wrong. Every person can change an event to the good. Each of us enjoys the capacity of free speech, free choice and constructive action.
While you may eschew national issues, you may engage in a community project with your leadership to build a playground, feed the hungry or volunteer as an aide at your local school. The list of things you can do to create good grows by the day in this harried world.
Something happens when you provoke truth within your community on whatever you feel passionate about. It becomes contagious. It inspires others. It drives others to action.
My father said, “When you speak up on something you feel passionate about, you will be amazed that a thousand other people feel the same way, but are afraid to speak up. When you speak up, you give them courage and you give them voice. So, don’t sit around on your butt son; get out there and make a difference in the world.”
Understand these points:
Examples abound: a commoner named Gandhi walked 1,000 miles to the sea to free his country from colonial rule. Dr. Martin Luther King marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to bring freedom for downtrodden people worldwide. Jane Goodall continues to work for the natural world. Chad Pragracke cleaned up the Mississippi River. Maggie Doyne created orphanages and schools in Asia for the dispossessed. Martha Graham created new forms of dance. Lori Bell rides a bicycle across the USA for peace.
Those ordinary people engaged extraordinary determination to make incredible changes in human history for good. Start in your own community today or take on the world tomorrow. You possess the power to change humanity for the better.