Is Silence Always Golden?
Silence sure is golden when you’re planning a nice quiet evening in front of the fire, curled up with a good book and bowl of buttery popcorn – and have to share it with no one.
Strangely though, being a recent empty-nester those kinds of evenings are less in my dreams and more in my reality lately – its funny how the grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence until you’re the one stuck mowing it.
But let’s get back on track.
If you consider all of history’s revolutions, rebellions and revolts, they have one thing in common…
Someone slashed the silence.
Someone dared to speak up and defend a deeply held conviction. While I know there are some throughout history who spoke out for the wrong reasons or with the wrong intentions, thankfully, so many more real life heroes speak up in defense of the value of human life.
These are the good folk who broke the silence for the good of their fellow man, community and in some cases – the world. The most recent example I can think of is the #metoo campaign that followed the exposure of a Hollywood executive.
I think Tom Hanks said it very well when he reminded his interviewer that this wasn’t just isolated to the movie industry. This type of behavior exists in many, if not all, industries.
So let’s all be aware, brave and speak up when we see or hear of unacceptable behavior to one another – especially if a power imbalance exists.
So that’s what leads me to my Person of Influence #19. We have to travel back in history exactly 500 years, as of October 31 last week.
My Marketing team always warns me to stay away from speaking or writing about my bent on politics, race and religion – which generally is really good advice. But I can’t let this influential 500-yr old day in history go by without at least saluting one of my forefathers of faith.
Meet my real life hero – a priest, composer and monk named Martin Luther. Now don’t get him confused with the modern day “I Have A Dream” Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement leader in America. Not only were their names almost identical – they both had an “I Have a Dream” speech.
Ok, ok, I know the first wasn’t a speech. But he too changed the world when he nailed 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany – sparking an intense conversation about God, faith and grace.
This event, known as the Protestant Reformation, has influenced the world then and now to a degree beyond understanding. Luther was one of those people who didn’t worry about what other people thought, rather led by God, he was compelled to speak up for what he believed was right – the ultimate betterment of mankind – despite the persecution he knew would surely follow.
I know I didn’t have that kind of courage when I was younger.
But in my middle years, I am beginning to understand when you receive insight into something wrong, it isn’t only your right, but also your God-given responsibility to defend the defenseless and expose the evil.
I just pray I find the courage when it’s needed most.