Current events honestly have me stumped.
If I'm being completely frank, I haven't had many opinions on politics before. I think I avoided it because of fear. However, instead of calling it what it is, I simply said, It doesn't affect me; I won't change anything; Why does it matter?
I justified my laziness and lack of desire to grapple with difficult things by complaining that people with opinions are what my students would call "extra." They're over the top and they just want attention.
Then again, just thinking about the women I admire off the top of my head, I think of Michelle Obama, Oprah, Lorelai & Rory Gilmore (pre-revival), J.K. Rowling, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jen Hatmaker, Jennie Allen... and many more that I can't really think of right now.
These women I admire are the ones who know what they want, the women who speak up, the ones who hold firm to what they believe, and stand up and walk with those who can't speak up or make a stand on their own. They are directly the opposite of silent, but are very poised and respectful in their ability to speak out.
I think for a long time, I've mistaken silence for being respectful, and this week made me really change my mind.
I know God has things under control, but I don't think that means we shouldn't speak up.
Not having opinions is the easy way out. Out of sight, out of mind.
Some days I feel like teaching has just happened to me. It's stepped in and wrecked my perfectly peaceful world. I know my students think they can't affect change. They feel they have no power. How can I tell them they do have power, if I don't truly believe it, either?
I'm going to attempt to address difficult, gray subjects, first on my own and then with others. I'm going to seek to understand through reading books written by people who are different than me. I'm going to be okay with the fact that I may have different views and opinions than my family and friends, and rest in the fact that real love and friendship happens not in running away from differences, but in seeing them, talking about them, and loving because, loving anyway, loving all.
There is no way around, there's only through.
Teachers don't get to be oblivious.
Writers don't get to gloss over.
People who want to make a difference don't get to hide in shelter and wait for the storm to pass.
With all this said, I'm finding out that it's difficult to have baby opinions in this day and age. It's confusing and unclear to develop what you think when you're constantly floating in the social media sea of what your friends, family, tweeps, and Insta-community thinks. The problem is, I can see where everyone is coming from, and I want to honor their opinions and ideas.
But that no longer means being silent.
"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" -Esther 4:14
It's true. God has this under control, but that doesn't mean we can't be a part of it. In fact, we have a unique opportunity to be a part of history. I think the Lord is inviting me into the conversation, saying, "This is happening with or without you, so are you in?" It's messy. It's uncomfortable. Ultimately, it's an adventure worth trekking together.
How are you dealing with the present societal situations? How do you practice bravery and speaking up? Who do you look up to who does this well? Share below in the comments! I'm hoping to continue this conversation with people I know, love, and trust.