Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 302

I learned an important lesson early on in my career as an educator.  A decision was made that had a major impact on me, and I could have spoken out about it. 

But I didn’t.

Maybe it was fear.

Maybe it was because I didn’t trust what I wanted to say.

Or maybe it was just a lesson I needed to learn.

But, I gained some tremendous insight that day.  It was that if I choose to not speak my mind, than whatever barrier is in my way will continue to stay up.

However, if I speak my mind, even if others don’t “like” what I have to say, the worst that can happen is that obstacle stays there.  The best thing that can happen is that by me voicing my thoughts, the wall can be broken down (or, steps can be taken to move in the right direction towards toppling whatever barrier is up).
Since that time, and in my work with both young learners and old, I’ve always made it clear that I want everyone to give voice to their mind.  Everyone I work with has the right to and duty to say what they’re thinking.

There are no bad ideas, and really, no bad time to express them.

The only bad thing is to never let them see the light of day.  After all, how can we improve the work that we do if we don’t even know what needs to be improved?

The other key point?

When everyone has a voice, the topics being discussed carry much more weight with the leaders and learners we work with.  Nothing builds capacity like people actively invested in an idea, topic, or situation.

So let’s promise ourselves that we will always voice our minds.  With so many barriers left to overcome, there really isn’t any other option.

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