I’m trying something different here at Behind Closed Doors. Instead of the usual chat about my writing or having a guest author share their new release, I’m issuing a challenge. I want to see this meme take off. No it’s nothing like Grumpy Cat or Six Sentence Sunday. The idea came to me while listening to the radio in the car on the way home from work today. The song, Brave by Sara Bareilles came on and of course I cranked up the volume. Have you listened to the words of that song? They’re a challenge to stand up for yourself and speak your mind.
“Let the words fall out.”
How many times have you sat back and kept to yourself, afraid to stand up and be counted? Have you remained silent while others around you have behaved badly? Can you honestly say you’ve never held your tongue when a friend or family member did something you knew would end in a bad way?
I did it for years. Not anymore.
All too often we keep to ourselves and allow bad things to happen to good people because we’re afraid to get involved or worse yet, be ridiculed for voicing our concerns. We live in a society where the squeaky wheel gets all the attention even if it’s not deserved. We’ve all seen it. I can think of a half dozen examples right off the top of my head and they all involve customers complaining about the service they’ve received or not as the case may be. People nowadays think if they bitch long enough and loud enough, they’ll get their way whether it’s a free meal or veterinary care. I mean, come on! If you have a problem with a meal, you don’t eat the entire thing, make the waitress jump through hoops to get you want you ask for to then stiff her on the tip and demand to see the manager to complain about the service.
How many of you have put the needs of others before yours time and time again hoping that one day the kindness will be reciprocated? Go on now, be honest. I know I have and at this point in my life I’m tired of being a doormat. I’m always the one asked to work extra shifts or even switch my entire schedule around to accommodate another. After years of this, I finally asked to have the schedule that would be best for me and was told no. Yeah, that’s right. NO. Those who benefited from my sacrifice over the last five years weren’t about to switch things back for me, even though it was promised at the time I agreed to the switch in the first place.
I sat back when some of my gay and lesbian friends were struggling to find their place in this world. For far too long I remained silent while our government interfered in our personal lives, denying basic rights to same sex spouses. It wasn’t until I married my husband that my eyes were really opened. As a military wife, I’m entitled to many spousal benefits that my same sex counterparts were not up until the last few months. I couldn’t sit back and not lend my voice to support these families. It broke my heart to hear their stories.
“Let your words be anything but empty.”
That’s what my challenge is for all of you. Write on your own blogs or here in the comments section one instance where you’ve stayed silent for too long and now you’re speaking up. There are so many ways for us to make a difference in this world, for ourselves and for others. We don’t have to sit back and let bullies scare us away from living our dreams. Don’t be the silent minority and just go with the flow anymore. Stand up and be counted. Tweet about it using #BRAVE hashtag. Use it on Facebook too. Put your thoughts in the comments below and other’s will share the entire blog.
I WANNA SEE YOU BE BRAVE!