That’s the thought that ran through my head at the coffee shop, as I sat next to a group of women, trying not to hear them talking as I read. It was impossible because their leader was loud and didn’t care who was listening.
Anger and anxiety began converging in the pit of my stomach, which I recognize as myself preparing to do something I didn’t want to do but needed to do, to silence that initial thought.
It’s none of my business
That’s what the anxiety was saying. It ‘s just a group of women talking about two people, and some aren’t even talking. They’re listening, so maybe it isn’t as bad as it appears.
Let it go
That’s what my anger was saying. You don’t know the story, and you never will. Besides, your words can’t change anything. Aren’t you judging them, too? Don’t you do the same thing?
That was my heart. It counted five women dressed for work and talking about their boss, his daughter, and the perception of her inadequacy based on her age and experience. Three were cacklers, adding fuel to the leaders’ insults, and two were silently listening.
I got up to leave, sick to my stomach with the energy the leader had generated. I stood up, then turned to look at her and said, “Kind compassion yields greater results than intimidation and judgment.” Then I high-tailed it outta there.
I didn’t wait for a reply, because I know I stepped where many would say I had no right to step, but also, I’m not a fighter. Sometimes I’m just a message, and on occasion, it’s useful and something others retain. The rest of the time, it’s a commercial placing a pause in another’s purpose, that gets tuned out and ignored.
Whatever it is someone does with my message isn’t my concern, so long as I follow the call of my heart and silence the directives that unanswered, do not let me sleep, and already I have lost too much.
Whether I like or despise them, I am the person who speaks for the person not in the room and being insulted.
Cause demeaning someone for who they are behind their back is like gathering troops to elicit a sneak attack on someone’s spirit, and often they intend harm in the physical. Imagine if they’d taken that energy and come up with ways to encourage the girl, ways to lift her to another level, ways to inspire her, love her. Just imagine the people at the coffee shop who might have leaned into the conversation, then gathered closer to offer ideas, or who in hearing them, would have left uplifted. Why on earth would we tear someone down when we can build them up, and one another in the process?
My speaking up doesn’t mean I’ve never talked about someone to someone else, nor does it mean my morals are better than anyone else. It just means I won’t sit silently with a group of folks and listen to them berate someone not there without countering them in some way, and the sometimes not always rule applies, cause some people are just asses and need to be attacked, but that’s a whole other story.
Most people aren’t asses, so if you feel it welling up in you, and you feel safe in your expression, say, something, do something.
Speak Life and Be Love