I sparked a mini Facebook war this morning. And it reminded me how vital it is to call a spade a spade.
I posted this on my personal page:
Well, didn’t that just press some buttons.
A man (who’s never commented on my page before) felt moved to impress upon me his vehement views against this post. For a time, I enjoyed this differing point of view. But there came a moment where I tired of the lecture and realised: this man was attempting to educate me.
Repeating phrases like, “speaking from experience,” “the wrong approach,” “ your ego,” “selling out,” “you this” and “you that,” he pressed forward his point.
I replied with smiles and love hearts and gratitude for his connection, but he wasn’t done with me. He felt I had more to learn.
This, my friends, is education.
When I called this out, naturally this man disagreed. Then educated me some more for good measure.
It reminded me of a movie I once saw where a man was telling a woman something kinda obvious. She looked him in the face, and with a powerful confidence said, “Thank you so much for educating me, young man.”
It also made me think: How often am I receiving subtle unwelcome education? How often am I personally submitting to this uninvited, forceful life schooling?
My sense is, far too often. So I’ll make this easy.
I do not need to agree with you, for us to harmoniously co-exist.
I do not need to believe you, simply because you are “speaking from experience.”
I do not need to apologize, because you don’t understand my meaning.
I do not need to zip my mouth, because yours is bigger or more practiced.
I do not need to compete for speaking space (ever).
I do not need to read from the same book, just because it changed your life.
I do not need to choose the same path, even if it works for you.
I do not need to roll over and play dead until things blow over.
I do not need to edit myself for your comfort.
I am free to be changeable in my views.
I am free to share them with passion and integrity.
I am free to remain open and whole in the face of criticism.
I am free to say no (or yes)—or indeed, nothing at all.
I am free to expand, contract and explode, whenever and wherever.
I am free to respond with love, even when it is not returned.
I am free to enjoy our endless differences and similarities.
I am free to dissolve my self-judgement.
I am free to speak.
As are you.
Author: Crystal Davis
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own