I think of this as my personal theme for 2019: Speak Up.
It applies to so many things, including writing more here and on the Square Peg Foundation website.
But it also applies in daily life. In work life. In personal connections with friends and family. In public interactions with strangers and neighbors.
By speaking up we also learn. Especially when writing. Because writing makes you consider not just your words, but your ideas, and how they fit together. But also in public speaking, because it’s another format where you are trying to get across ideas clearly, and striving for that clarity also refines your ideas.
All of us let too much slide. We don’t say enough — don’t do enough. We can step in and take a stand, lend a hand, or even just ask a question that illuminates a problem. We can provide relief to someone bearing a burden, or simply let a person know that they are heard. Sometimes all we need to do is hold space for someone as they grieve, or as they vent their frustration.
We can also do much through our own behavior. People, especially kids, learn from our example. They see and understand, more than we credit. But part of the behavior that we should model is to speak up, with kindness, more often.
Speak Up isn’t about talking. Sometimes it’s about listening. Sometimes it’s about doing. It’s always about striving to be better.