I’ve lived long enough to see many people blast into my life, and then leave.
They’re not the pillars — family, friends, wise individuals who leave behind a feeling of goodness to the room when they depart. Rather, these are the confident, aggressive “leaders,” the ones who capture a group or organization, plan church events, or grasp at micro-managing their co-workers lives.
One example should suffice.
Years ago, there was a woman in our little children’s play group who whooshed into the room like a wind. Around a quickly assembled flock of acolytes, she pronounced judgment on what TV shows to watch, the best and only way to potty train, rather harsh disciplinary measures to apply against recalcitrant children, and the necessity of buying cheap fried chicken at the grocery store on Madness Mondays. (A couple years later, when she changed her diet, she condemned Madness Mondays, along with anyone who bought cheap chicken that day. No longer was this a sensible, approved, or spiritual way to save money.)
We never got along, because early on, I didn’t agree with something she said. It only took once to be off her list.
And then, after years of determined rule . . . she left.
Gone, off to new vistas to promote the virtues of tofu, which colleges are the best for those now grown-up, formerly recalcitrant children, and the only qualified candidate for whom to vote.
The artwork, Riverside Muse, is a reminder and an encouragement to not give in to such people. The woman standing at the river is quiet, reflective, non-aggressive, thoughtful – a lot like many people. She has good things to say, ideas worth hearing, but she is not about to push her agenda on those around her.
Too often, people who are quiet, reflective, non-aggressive, and thoughtful allow themselves to be bowled over by those who promote, and then later condemn, buying cheap chick on Madness Monday. They mistake non-aggression for shyness, and pull away from expressing themselves, because they consider that they have nothing worth saying.
But they do. Oh, how they do.
Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are
“Quiet” and “Shy” Are Not the Same Word
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SO very true, Carolyn…how some of have been punished for our participation, at times in things we even were invited into. I feel at this time of my life (now 67) for ME…it would have been best to have refused to be more than the wallflower…in a lot of situations!! Never having enjoyed conflict, can put you in a difficult spot too. I finally learned with some kin, that conflict is what gave them the adrenaline they seemed to need in order to breathe!!
There are many ways to speak, Lorene. Some of it is by directly speaking up which, as you observe, can lead to conflict in certain situations and with certain people who feel that theirs is the only voice worth hearing. Sometimes it is worth jumping into this fray, and other times it is not. Other times we speak through actions, through writing, even through thoughts, since our thoughts factor into how we ultimately act. The important thing is not to be cowed by the noisy, strident voices that demand to take center stage. Even worse is to fall into compliance with group think, with those who parrot the words of the noisy ones.
All people must recognize that their thoughts, their opinions, their musings, their questions, their searching have value. An integral part of freedom is recognizing this. Sixty seven is a great age to move forward, question, and speak how and when you deem fit.
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