Speaking My Piece/Peace
April 9, 2013
A quick internet search reveals that the right way to say it is “to speak one’s piece.” It comes from a time when people would recite verse or a famous speech. Often it might be a patriotic poem.
Apparently, some of us confuse that famous phrase with another: “to hold one’s peace.” This one refers to saying nothing. To me, the (apparently confused) idea of speaking my peace would refer to my need to say what I have to say in order for me to have peace. So I like it both ways.
And here it goes…
As I have considered going into politics for myself, I’ve had to practice keeping my mouth shut. I’ve still been a bit brash in some contexts, and probably have rubbed some people the wrong way. Clearly, I don’t always keep my mouth shut when I should. But it’s been more than five years now that I’ve been trying to hold at least some of my cards close to my chest when it comes to certain political positions.
While in graduate school, I participated in a concurrent “From Harvard Square to the Oval Office” training program for women who wanted to run political campaigns or run for office themselves. The trainer told me not to talk publicly about a particular action I had taken—though thoroughly consistent with my values—because it might be controversial in the public square. I assured her that the majority of my base in my neighborhood would be totally down with it. She told me to keep it quiet, nevertheless.
I’ve decided that I’m done with that. It’s time for me to stop shying away from using the voice God has given me. I’m going to speak into the issues I’m supposed to avoid.
Sabbatical helped me move toward a place where I’m not living my life every moment in anticipation of being involved in politics. To be honest, I still struggle with that, especially when others inevitably ask me when I’m going to run. But I need to free myself of that burden and allow myself to live freely to pursue God’s purpose in my life, whether that ultimately includes politics or not.
When a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if no one hears it? Regardless of whether anyone is listening right now, these words are going down into posterity on the internet. I have to put these issues out there. For me, talking about these things is part of my obedience, spiritual discipline, following my calling. That’s more important to me than a future in politics.
In the coming weeks, watch for posts on immigration, abortion, guns, and gay rights, to name a few, not necessarily in that order. Maybe even a piece about international relations.
Here goes nothing…