Every time I speak up I get a quiet thank you.
I don’t speak up for me.
I do it to help others be seen and to show what I stand for.
Eric dives into this further and uses better words than I have.
When confronted with an uncomfortable situation, we often stay silent because we don’t know what to say in the moment, or we don’t want to get involved.
For instance, when we witness people making potentially racist or sexist comments, it’s easier to say nothing, because why take the risk of an uncomfortable confrontation? And yet, when we don’t challenge the comment, we are implicitly accepting that it’s okay to say such things. As a military saying goes, “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”
One perspective that has helped me is recognizing that the reason to speak up is not to change the mind of the person making the comment. It is to challenge the comment for the sake of other people witnessing the conversation. Perhaps other people feel uncomfortable with the comment, but they believe that the culture is to accept such comments because they have never seen somebody speak up.
He also recommends a book: