When Do You Speak Up And When Do You Clam Up?

A friend and I were enjoying delicious half price margaritas & chips ‘n salsa the other evening. Then she brought up life.

“So I started arguing with this guy Jeff on Facebook the other day about <insert controversial topic here> and after a few back and forths, I decide to take the post down. I’m out of work and job hunting. I can’t afford for the wrong person to see my views on Facebook and have it cost me a job. And I felt like a wuss because we should speak up when we see something wrong. When we don’t speak up, we are part of the problem,” she said.

“That’s true,” I agreed, “but I just always know that nothing I say is going to change their minds. Those types of debates are not very fruitful. So I don’t know what the answer is.”

On the way home, I was trying to reconcile this issue in my mind. Ok, so I think speaking up is good. Speaking up about injustice = growing toward the sun. But when do you speak up and when do you keep quiet?

If I walked up on a friend or relative vandalizing a landmark or kicking a dog, I’d speak up. But if they are being a blowhard about <insert controversial topic here> at family night, I tend to just let it go. It’s an ongoing struggle. Do we only speak up when we think it will make a difference? If we never speak up, it guarantees no difference…so does this make us cowards?

How do you make these decisions?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, http://www.cgpgrey.com 

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