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Finding your voice

“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”
- Mahatma Gandhi 

I have a fairly non-confrontational personality, which means that my default position is to agree with what someone says rather than take an opposing stand. Which means I only take an opposing stand when I feel strongly about something.

I know a lot of people that are this way. This is the reason people don't voice their concerns with their bosses as often as they should. This is the reason people don't disagree with popular opinion on anything from restaurant reviews to human rights.

It is easy to think that we will please everyone by not disagreeing with them or by agreeing with their opinions even when we might feel otherwise. It is easy to try to fit in and be liked by everyone.

But this will only result in turning us invisible.

After years of living this way, when we look back to see what we believed in all through our lives, we won't find us at all. We will merely find the beliefs and opinions of the people that have been around us.

There is no point in being afraid of what others might think if we speak our mind. The analogy of Schrodinger's cat comes to mind. We will only find out when we open the box and see if the cat is dead or alive. Otherwise, we are merely making an assumption and living by it.

It is easier said than done though.

I still hesitate when I have to oppose someone because I don't agree with what they are saying. But writing daily helps me find my voice.

This is the beauty of writing, putting thoughts in our heads down on paper in coherent sentences. It makes me analyse my position on things and forces me to look rationally at the opinions I form over the course of my day.

Even if it isn't something I post here, and just ends up being a discarded draft or a private journal entry, it still has the same effect.

To me, writing is an exercise to help find my voice. And I haven't found a better one yet.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend opening up a blank document and start typing away.

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