I’ve been thinking about the complexity and (tacit) complicity of silence.
I have been thinking about this because I wanted to talk with you all about it; to find out your opinions on the power of non-spoken words and the dangers of same. Yes; I did not misspeak – I intended to say “dangers”.
Okay; let’s address this: there are certainly times when opting for silence is the prudent alternative; in fact, many times. There is no denying that many situations and certainly some people do not rise to the level of importance enough to warrant either your energy or your words. In those instances, please continue to turn your back and walk away (and don’t forget to keep your head high!).But, I want to address today those times when silence is used as a weapon, the tool to hide truths, keep secrets and evade consequences.
One of the reasons this is important for me to speak about, is because this air of secrecy is what is primarily employed by adult offenders against their young victims. In an effort to continue their reign of terror, they threaten and intimidate into silence (and de facto complicity) with threats of harm to either parents or siblings. See, but the truth is that these animals utilize this tactic not because they are so clever, but because they recognize and depend on, just as many of us lesser monsters do, that for one reason or another – shame, fear, intimidation, youth, confusion or loyalty – that most human beings are prone to valuing love over hate. We tend to want to trust and believe over the devastating truth of some reality.
Silence. As I stated before, if/when it is your choice, influenced and motivated totally by your well-being and causes no harm to others, then by all means, maintain your peace. However, if asked by others to keep your silence in an attempt to maintain their (harmful) secret, or to abet their evasion of deserved consequences, please, speak up! Especially if said silence affects or hurts you. We have already discussed that human beings are passionately self-interested; this is not news. But having sat and settled with that, do not at any time allow another’s pursuit of their survival be at the expense of yours! And, this applies to not only your physical selves, but equally as important, your moral self. Think about it, the ones who try to cash in on another’s goodwill (i.e. silence) are usually the ones most morally bankrupt. Stands to reason – those who self-govern and constantly tap into their consciences usually have nothing to hide. Okay, very little J
There are too many families that surprisingly expand after many years; and not through a recent birth! There are too many women and men shamed into living a duplicitous life of abuse and silence! There are way too many of our young threatened with fear of reprisals by so-called trusted ones of authority! Every day, in big or small ways, people hold their tongues and carry the burdens on their faces and shoulders, reflective (for those who pay attention) in their appetites and eyes, because they are bullied into silence out of fear of losing their jobs, their families, their homes.
But here’s the irony: others may have the ability and power to threaten you with loss or harm; but, silence can also kill. When a righteous (not to be confused with ‘self-righteous’) person is forced into the collusion of silence, the damage that can be done is not to be ignored. When a person knows better, when their own ethical and moral barometers dictate that they do differently yet are forced for one reason or the other to “go along”, the erosion may not be visible to the naked eye; but, never discount that it is there. One of the most damaging things that can be done to someone that knows better is to ask them to act worse!
I know it’s not easy; and I certainly know it is not the most popular position to take in a world that is dependent on the timed and purposeful exposure of lies; but all I am hoping for initially is an awareness – an awareness that living your truth does not necessarily dictate that you expose someone else’s lie – but, never let anyone dominate or eliminate your right, your fucking, absolute right to stand up and speak out! There is no circumstance under which someone else’s bad or immoral behavior needs to happen to you!
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life. Define yourself…”