A younger cousin posted a comment the other day about the Boston Bruin hockey player declining an invitation to the White House amidst his protest of "the times". I agreed with her sentiment... that it was bad form for the guy to stay behind... on the basis that "there is a time to speak one's mind, and a time to pull up your big boy pants and do the uncomfortable thing you don't want to do..." But it begs the question... "When is the right time?" Or, "Is now the right time to speak my mind?"
This is not a pefect calculus. There have been many times... perhaps the odd CLM ("Career Limiting Moment")... that I have regretted speaking up. Not that my point was not valid, but that the time and place were not appropriate. My sense is that it is always a good thing to understand my "truth"... that is, my opinion, belief, assessment, understanding, or "what I make it mean." But it's not necessarily always good to speak it out. Sometimes restraint is in order.
Years ago, I heard a quote that might fit here... "they will care what you know when they know that you care." I've taken that to mean, "focus first on relationship and then the sharing of knowledge or opinion will follow naturally." My experience is that when I focus first on the relationship, the desire for authenticity and ability to remain curious over becoming defensive increases. And, perhaps that's what it takes for people that are in disagreement to come together... a mutual desire to be in relationship and a desire for authenticity.
We live in a polarized world. My desire is to come together with people of differences and to seek relationship first, trusting that as growth occurs what appeared to be hard at first will become easy.
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