"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
This week I am reflecting on favorite quotes from Dr. King. Many inspire. This one afflicts me.
Many people avoid conflict, and I am one of them. “Why makes things worse?” is the reasoning. “Don’t make waves.” “Keep the peace.”
It’s a personal choice and most of the time, the consequences are personal, too. Sometimes the cost for such choices is far greater.
Throughout history, good people could have made a difference if they had said or done something. Instead, too many good people chose to stay silent. The moment passed. People suffered.
We all have moments we regret, of course. Moments we wish we would have said or done something sooner. The danger is when those moments become patterns, patterns become a lifestyle, a lifestyle becomes a legacy of wasted opportunity.
There is a price for speaking up and getting involved in things that matter, including our comfort. That is why I am grateful for people like Dr. King who remind us there is also a price for our comfortable silence.
Where would it matter if you spoke up today? What will be the cost if you don’t?