Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why Good People Choose Silence Over Speaking Up to Mistreatment of The Voiceless

Why Good People Choose Silence About Mistreatment

Have you ever paid to take a course on a subject that really interests you, then been very disappointed in the end result? Perhaps your expectations weren't met. Or maybe something happened during the course that shook your beliefs to the core. Or that incorporated a set of beliefs that went against your own values or knowledge of the subject.

What if you knew that what was being taught was being harmful to the people in attendance? Would you speak up?

A friend of mine recently attended a weekend ideas workshop. For the most part, she enjoyed the workshop. She found purpose in the role she played in the group work. But her respect for the instructor was shattered when he rewarded an undeserving group with a win.

But in spite of the abject disregard for generally accepted business principles, the issue for my friend was the little voice inside her telling her to speak up about the experience.

This issue comes up in all our lives at one time or another. Maybe not in this form. But each of us that comes across any miscarriage of justice or procedure or mistreatment of someone must decide if we'll let it slide or speak up.

Fear prevents a person from doing the right thing. Fear that you may be accused of sour grapes. Fear that you may burn bridges or cause a rift in a relationship. Fear of how your life will be adversely affected by speaking up.

This is the same fear that prevents good people from doing the right thing when they witness a child or the elderly being abused.

It's always easier to play it safe and do nothing. And if we won't do the right thing for the small thing, when our inner voice is screaming at us to do something in particular, what hope is there for people to do the right thing when it really matters?

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