‘Be a voice and not an echo.’ I don’t know where I read this but it’s stuck with me pretty much all of my life and having my say has become something of a necessity for my well-being. Perhaps that’s why I don’t really do politics or religion; I don’t want to simply echo somebody else’s view without thinking it through from my own unique and, at least to me, precious perspective.
As I child it seems that I was always being told to be quiet, to shut up, to be seen and not heard, and for a while fear kept me quiet. Not for long though, I soon realised that if I didn’t have a voice I’d be nothing more that an echo and echoes fade away quite quickly. So instead I took the blows, as Sinatra would say, and since that time I’ve made it a principle to tell people what I think even though it can be uncomfortable and risky at times. Over the years I’ve lost count of the number of times I have sat in meetings unable to bite my tongue.
These days I mainly voice my thoughts through my blog and Facebook, which can also be a little dangerous. Sometimes I know I appear to be completely off my trolley and I also know that I’ve upset people occasionally with my posts. Whatever I say though I try to make sure that it’s contains some clarity, reflects my beliefs and opinions, and is honest. I even try to include a little humour where I can.
Of course one man’s honesty is another’s insult and truth, as we all know, can be a bitter pill to swallow. But it has become very important to me to be able to say what I feel, believe, and (most importantly) want to say, without someone telling me to be quiet, shut up, stop talking rubbish, or that I’m being insensitive or offensive. Humour is another matter; my funny can be pretty dry, and I can easily understand how a lot of people don’t get it. Although it doesn’t stop Eddie Izzard do it? Maybe I should put a little (h) as a warning when I’m being funny for the humourously challenged out there.
You see one man’s rubbish is another’s wisdom and like truth that can be another bitter pill to accept. Similarly it takes quite a lot for me to take offence and I really don’t believe that you have to say nothing in order to be sensitive. I say what I think, write what I want based around my experience of my world (my real world no less), and won’t shut up when I’m told to. Why should I? I have the right to my voice whether you approve or not, just as you have yours if you care to use it.
Over the years this has got me quite a lot of trouble but at the same time I believe that it has been key to whatever small achievements I may have made. Expressing myself, regardless of what people think, is something I am driven to do. I’d be no good at all in
or North Korea (or alive);
was a little bit of a struggle. I have to have my say; it’s a kind Tourettes,
except I’m controlling it and not the other way around – at least sometimes.
Thank God I live in a country where freedom of speech is still given at least a passing nod, although I worry that increasingly the government and police try to dumb us all down and make our views as vanilla as possible. Or is that simply paranoia?
Well, it does run in the family.
Without wishing to offend anybody in particular: at least I’ve had my say and you can lump it or like it, I really don’t care. If you don’t like what I say then feel free not to read or unfriend me if you want, I’ll survive. You see you can only change my mind by presenting me with new information that I agree with – and if you can’t do that, then I really don’t need you to listen and I don’t have to fucking listen to you (h).