All it takes for “evil” to grow is silence, the absent voices of reason, peace, understanding, and love. In times of hardship when division is great voices of reason are needed. I know there are many voices of reason that have been silent. I know because my voice has been one of those voices and I have talked to many other people who have also been silent. I thought by being silent I was making room for another voice and honoring another person’s opinion. But I realized that my silence was not making room it was contributing to pain, harm, ruin and injury.
When my young clients talk about the difficulties they face in school. I ask them, “What do your values say you should do?” When they respond, I ask, “What stops you from doing that?” The answer is always fear of losing…fear of losing friends, fear of losing status, fear of losing favor. Silence comes from fear.
I realized that I had confused my fear of confrontation with my value that all voices matter. My silence was from fear of offending others, fear of being attacked, fear of not being heard. It was not coming from my values. A deep belief that all voices matter helps us to engage others and to hear their thoughts. When all voices matter, voices are not silent.
It is important for everyone to speak, for everyone to be heard. And it is important that we listen to each other. It is the only way we will solve the important issues facing us all.