This new season of life has pushed issues, principles and morality to the front of internet feeds, television screens and our minds. If we have reflected on these topics, we have realized that there are so many issues the average individual can choose to speak up about right now, in an effort to contribute to bringing forth positive change. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to take to the streets in protest (although it is a choice). But we can use our voices when the opportunity arises. Let’s look at three areas where our voices can and should be counted.
1) Start with those closest to you.
First and foremost, now is the time to address any disparagement among family members. We must keep in mind that our goals are not to change the comments of other individuals. It is to design and enforce our own boundaries concerning a situation. “I’d prefer it if we didn’t talk about Aunt Mavis like that. If you have something positive to say about her, I’m ready to listen.” If you have been the one who led the conversation in the past, you can choose to cease using your voice in negativity and contribute to the wellbeing of the family.
2) Speak up at work.
We are not obligated to endure everything that is said at our workplaces – particularly if remarks don’t directly refer to our work tasks. It’s perfectly okay to excuse yourself from distasteful-to-you chit chat or to speak your mind and set your own boundaries. “I’m not really interested in talking politics…gossip…negativity. Can we please stick to the business at hand?” It’s important to remain polite, but firm, within these interventions. You may have to repeat yourself more than once, but eventually coworkers will realize you are not going to participate. Again, the goal is not to control the behavior of others, only establish what you will and will not tolerate.
3) Social justice causes are waiting for your support. For the extrovert, protesting in the street may sound invigorating. For the introvert, not so much. Fortunately, we live in a country where both personality types have outlets to be heard. Appropriate posts on internet apps may be a way to voice your support, however, always be prepared for opposing comments to join in. We can also demonstrate our voices with monetary support for the organizations fighting for what we believe in as well.