Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | August 15, 2013


Voices–they’re everywhere.

I have one, and you do too; but there are times you’d never know it.

Look around. If loudmouths and self-appointed experts had what it takes, wouldn’t the results be better than this? They’ve had millennia to get it right while we sat mute. How much longer before we cry out? We can fault them for forcing silence on us, but not for our own capitulation.

What makes us so timid? Unable to stay silent longer, when we finally speak out, we’re almost beside ourselves. Why let ourselves get drowned out at all? Why not gladly let our flags fly?

Well, conflict scares us, but disagreement itself isn’t conflict. Differences alone don’t create it. Neither being wrong nor being right spark it; nor does misunderstanding.

Blame scares us. So do scorn, ridicule, being seen as less, as defective, along with every other prelude to abandonment.

In a word, judgment scares us, because it sets us up for punishment or even worse: for disposal. So, we go silent, a kind of self-banishment. We let ourselves get intimidated. We hide. We think things but won’t say them. That’s the birth of hypocrisy.

And what actually happens when we use our voices? We can’t know until we try. Does the sky fall? Do people spontaneously combust? Do we disintegrate? Does anything change at all?

Yes, and no.

What doesn’t change? The sky stays blue. The trees grow, water flows, birds sing. The winds blow. Gravity holds us down and whirls us ’round and ’round. Nothing falls apart on our say-so.

What changes? I do, so do you, and so does everything–because when we speak, everything notices. That’s power, and it scares us. When we muster it up and finally speak out–saying something really new or what everyone knows but no one will admit–what comes next? Often, we hold our breaths, silently freaking out, waiting for the smack-down. What if nothing smacked us down? What if everyone just let it stand for God and the universe to respond? Would they smack us down? If they did, we’d learn something truly great and be better, smarter, and stronger for it. How seldom we give them that chance!

Did you ever wonder why, if raising your voice is truly risky, so many put such effort into preventing you–not just stopping you, but making sure that you don’t even start? If they left you alone, wouldn’t you find out on your own, prove yourself wrong with ease and beyond doubt, just as if you’d defied physics or math? What’s up with the preempting, the resistance, the retaliation? Are God and the universe threatened by words? Are people that defenseless–especially when you’re honestly just saying? That’s pretty weak. If they’d shut up, let you speak without being judged, giving you half a chance and a smidge of the benefit of doubt, and let your words stand, maybe we’d all find out what really happens.

Or, maybe, keeping us from finding out is exactly the point.

This is not a kind world. It could be. God is kind. The earth is kind. So are the sun, the stars, the air, the land, the water, and every living being in them, even most people–when they’re not scared, reeling from lifetimes of abuse. So where does the all the shit come from? From those scared to death of our voices, shouting to drown us out, beating us to shut us up, assassinating us if necessary, as if we were shouting the war-cries of some gruesome, phantasmic horde, when we’re just being honest.

In such a paranoid world, we need to brace ourselves. We need to take our stand, set our foreheads like flints, keep our wits, and speak and act–not to stifle other voices, but to lift our own. To be heard. To be seen. To be present. To exist.

You have a right to be here, to take up space and take up air time. You’ll get reactions, no doubt, but don’t panic. Don’t even fuss. Those are just expressions of helpless frustration, not strength; incompetence, not wisdom. They are no match for your truth, and that’s what the protest is all about.

So speak! Sing! Dance! Paint! Jump! Write! Sculpt! Play! Run! Touch! Love! Do your joy, and that with abandon. Fuck the consequences; because if joy brings destruction, then we’re already in hell, so we might as well go down together.

But, no. Joy is invincible. No one can stop it; but they can scare it out of us, intimidating us into letting it go. Strange that they’d even want to. Stranger still, when they’re so deluded, that we let them force us to abandon what they can’t even grasp.

So speak up. Say it. Raise your voice the best you can, and then learn from it. You can’t master what never happens. Stop hiding. Why don’t you know that you are amazing? Come out! Show us your grace, your strength, your dignity, your beauty. It’s what you want; and deep inside, beneath the commotion, beyond reach of other voices, you know that’s who you are.

Stop listening to naysayers. Say it yourself. Don’t wait. Start. Now.

The world becomes wonderfully bright once we quit the shadows.



  1. Wonderful! Well expressed.

  2. Great job dad, I really enjoyed it! It is very encouraging. Keep em coming

    • Thanks chum! Yeah, cycle speed is spinning up… 😉

Please let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: