Dear silent people. I sit with you. I sit here in silence about a matter I simply do not know enough about to speak on.
I sit here with an understanding that no system is perfect, and nor should we pretend it is. I sit here understanding that no human is perfect, many do unspeakable acts, I sit here unable to think about and react to them all.
Just because something is viral doesn’t mean it requires your attention anymore than something that is not. There are many atrocities the world over, and to sit and think on them will destroy any decent person. We are not made to carry the burdens of the world.
Whether you are facing your own battles that leave you without the necessary resources for yet another fight, or whether you simply do not know how to respond to do justice to the complexities of the matter, I sit with you and tell you it is ok to be silent. To not have or voice an opinion. It is ok to live your life away from the demands of society.
Your well-being and peace of mind is important, it is ok to look away from things you don’t know what to do about. Your life will have your own unique battles that define your character, know not every burden is ours to bear.
I believe there are fights to be fought and justice to be had, but we speak and advocate on those matters close to our own hearts because then we speak with knowledge and passion.
“Pick your battles,” is a worthwhile saying to remember as media thrust daily into our lives what we ‘should’ care about. They are human too, their skew, their perspective may not be entirely correct.
The courts, the justice system, flawed though it is, is a place designed for justice. Having studied legal ethics, I realise that there is always more to any story, there aren’t sides that fit in with our values perfectly, that sometimes a clear cut, right and wrong solution isn’t always possible. So why then should you be forced into an opinion if even the courts with all their resources, experience and time cannot always get it perfectly right? Never mind to give that personal opinion in a public setting.
If you care enough to be troubled by what you see around you, trust that you are a decent person, and that you need not be forced to have an opinion out there for the world to see to validate that. What you can do is to take a moment of pause, reflect quietly on your own attitudes and understandings, and research if you need answers.
This is where change will happen for most of us. Most of us cannot effectively, or immediately change everything for the better in any big way. We can post, we can debate, we can learn. But we must allow room for what is important to each of us as each new day brings a battle.
To fight the ones we are destined to fight, we might learn to conserve energy, mentally and emotionally, to have the resources we need. Opportunity cost is an economic term defined as, “the next best alternative forgone”. We have to choose where to put our resources, as when we chose one thing, it means we cannot have another.
Freedom is also about the ability to choose, how to care, and what to care about. It is not freedom to be dictated to about how and what you ‘should’ care about. Please feel free to research the meaning of freedom, should you choose.
In this world we must learn what to hold onto, and what to let go of. Someone is counting on each of us to fight the battles that we are uniquely capable of. So please do not waste your precious energy by feeling bad if you don’t fight those battles that are not yours, but are assigned to others who are better placed to fight them.
Silence can be an intelligent, humble and brave stance. To say, “I simply do not know enough about this to do justice to what is a complex matter. I acknowledge I am a human, and therefore haven’t the capacity to take on the struggles of the world, and I choose to advocate for my own causes, and therefore I sit this one out, at least in the public forum.”
It is more brave in this day and age to refrain from sharing your opinion than to simply go along with whatever the loudest voice is saying.