"We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't," says poet and teacher Clint Smith. We live in a society that so often values tolerance and individualism at the expense of standing up for what we believe is right. We are taught in our education systems to ask questions, but not actually care about the answers because toleration is a leading societal value that trumps truth because we don’t want to offend anybody.
Please do not misunderstand me, I believe celebrating individualism is a good thing because each person is unique with their own voice. I also believe it is important to be gracious to all people. However can we not engage in a meaningful and respectful dialogue even if we don’t agree?
For example, we see way too many unnaturallythin models walking the runaway and then say, “Well that is their decision” instead of saying; “I disagree with that andwhat should do we about it?”
Or we just think, "I wish I was taken more seriously," as we continue to see women and young girls depicted very narrowly in the media in manners that emphasize and value their sexual and physical attractiveness at the expense of other important internal characteristics.
As Smith says, “Sometimes we spend so much of our time telling people the things that they want to hear, appeasing ignorance with [our] silence unaware that validation doesn't need words to endorse its existence."
I believe that we need to use our voices and engage with others on issues that matter to us.
"Silence is the residue of fear."
Take 4 minutes and watch this Ted talk. You won't regret it.