Speak For Yourself

It is another cloudy day as I watch my backyard pond. Currently no rain is falling…but it could any minute. I was in a meeting with our wonderful church music director, this morning, and I and the other four people in the group all agreed that Carlyn is not only a consummate professional…but she has a wonderful spirit…she is a gifted teacher…and inspirational to those whom she leads and mentors.

When I was the assistant superintendent of Building Services I often had to speak on behalf of the superintendent. This was an uncomfortable position for me and I was relieved to no longer have to be someone’s mouthpiece when I became the superintendent…some time later. When someone speaks or plans for me without asking my opinion…I wonder where they received their information. There is a liberty in saying what your true opinion is…even if there is no one in the room that agrees with you.

A derivation of the great author, George Orwell’s Newspeak, is a current political party that simply denies demonstrated reality in the herculean effort to curry favor with their titular leader. It is painful to watch! I always enjoyed speaking with my friend, Bart, who was nearly 90 at the time of a conversation that we were having. Bart told me that he had resigned a leadership position at church rather than be marginalized. I mentioned that although he had encouraged me to do the same…I wondered if I did not…still…have lessons to learn? He mentioned that my comment had merit…but that he had learned those lessons 70 years ago.

We all want to go along and get along. It is intrinsic to our human nature to desire to be a part of the group. We want to be agreeable…we want to be a valued member of the team. However, at critical times in life you must be willing and able to take a stand for what you believe…to say this much and no more… To speak your sincere convictions is a lonely proposition. The Lone Wolf…is alone for a reason… But, as the saying goes, ‘To thine own self be true.’

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