When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid or not – Audre Lorde
I read this quote this morning in my friends Thea Westra’s book Time for my Life 365 Stepping Stones, 2843 Life Power Boosters at your fingertips http://www.timeformylife.com. i think this is one of the best daily empowerment books on the market. A page for each day of the year that has a coaching, an action, a challenge, a quote, a clearing, a question and an affirmation on it, it never goes out of date because its not year based but day to day based. The quote called to me powerfully and never having heard of Audre Lorde I googled her.
Audre was a Caribbean-American writer, radical feminist, womanist, mother, lesbian and civil rights activists who believed our life mission is to speak our truth as this is what has let the world get into the situation it has today. Audre died in 1992 but her words are more relevant today than when written. I came across this rather lengthy quote but it is brilliant in its perception –
“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.”
I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, “disappeared” or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.
Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”
These inspiring words point me towards a call for us all to be in action, saying that its all too hard and not speaking your truth to avoid confrontation will not get it done. We will end up with more and more right wing governments who are driven by warmongers, coal barons, media moguls who have lost touch with the hearts of the people they are meant to serve. They will lock babies and children up in the name of keeping their counties safe, they will let major companies get away without paying taxes and let homelessness run rampant.
So should we take to the streets, only if you believe in it. Each of us has a different vision or passion that gets us up in the morning inspired to face the day. Mine is to have Love and Respect for All, Everyone included be the world paradigm. I’ve started implementing it through my open Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Interulturalism and this blog. I’ve met people further down the path – Mastin Kipp with his http://www.The dailyLove.com, Danielle La Porte with her inspirational workbook The Desire Map http://www.daniellelaporte.com and Jeffrey Slayter with his Free Humanity movement -http://www.jeffreyslayter.com, each of them has a huge vision that they can speak in an elevator speech and then if you want to know more there is always the opportunity. They all are not silent and speak their truth, I’m getting better at it.
Namaste my friends until next time
Well said, Rod. I think having the intention to be in action is the first step and, if we keep our ears and eyes open, the next steps will appear soon. You are certainly on a good path with your commitment to interculturalism.
Thank you Rod. I’m so pleased you like my book. I have joined your Facebook group, however I think you might want to change the link to it in your article. The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/Interulturalism Last night Greg & I watched an ABC documentary which I think will speak to you also, well worth a view, at: http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/internets-own-boy-the-story-of-aaron-swartz/ZX9990A001S00 Namaste. 🙂