‘My husband thinks I should go back to full-time work now that the baby is 6 months old’ she said. After a pause, she added: ‘But my mother- in -law thinks I should wait until the baby is a year old at least’.
‘And what do you think?’ I asked.
I got a blank stare. And silence.
‘Go on, tell me,’ I urged. ‘What do YOU think?’
‘No one’s asked me that before’ she whispered. ‘So I don’t know what I think anymore.’
I don’t want to go into the rest of the story….I think I’ve made my point. We don’t have to wait for permission to have an opinion. If we remain quiet on matters that impact us deeply, we are sending across a silent message that it’s okay for others to dictate what we should think.
I am NOT saying it’s going to be easy, particularly if you’ve always let others speak on your behalf (either at work or in your personal life). But we must start somewhere. Start expressing your opinion whenever the opportunity arises. Start small. If someone asks you where you’d like to go for dinner, make a suggestion. If someone asks what you think about the current headlines, don’t just shrug. If someone asks about your preferred choice, don’t respond with ‘whatever.’
Yes, there’s a time to remain silent. After all, it’s best to walk away from certain battles. But there’s also a time to speak up. We must know the difference. After all, we don’t want to leave behind a legacy of silence for the generations that follow.
Nim Gholkar, 2018
Copyright Nim Gholkar 2018 All Rights Reserved.