A few weeks ago, a couple of politicians made some remarks that most people recognized as improper. They both commented that it was okay to be uncivil to those of another political persuasion; one even recommended using physical force on those opposing his views. I waited for someone in their political party to speak against what was said. It wasn’t long until one did. One lone female Senator spoke up and disagreed with them. A few days later a former First Lady also spoke up and took issue with both statements.
It made me think, “Why is it so hard to speak truth to people in power? Why were there only two women who were willing to take up the microphone and disagree with what was said?” There are many answers to these questions. First, most people (yes, even those who are in positions of political power) are afraid to speak up and call out those in their own political party who may be making statements that need to be challenged. Second, there will usually be some sort of repercussions if one does speak up. These repercussions may not be serious, but just the fact a person is not willing to fall in line with the herd will set one apart. Third, it takes real courage in order to speak up and stand up when few others are willing to do so.
We live in a society that is becoming more and more divisive. Tribalism has set in and one is expected to tow the line of whatever tribe one is a part of. We do not have to go along with this kind of thinking or social engineering. We can break out of our “tribal thinking” and be willing to take a stand should someone in our “tribe” make statements that are uncivil, rude or unnecessarily divisive.
Personally, I prefer to not be part of any “tribe.” I want to be an independent thinker that recognizes the worth of each individual and gives people the freedom to think differently than I do. How about you? Have you noticed more pressure than usual to just go along with what your group or tribe is saying and just keep quiet? What do you do about it?