What makes speaking up so hard to do? One thing is that makes it daunting is the fear of personal attack, either physically or emotionally. Another is the fear of how you’ll be perceived-will your friends desert you? Will your family? Will you make enemies? Will you be ostracized or ridiculed?
Then there is the fear of , what if I’m wrong? or What if I make it worse? Or what if I’m grouped in with whatever group or person I’m speaking up for? I think there are times and places to take these kinds of chances and to conquer the fears that hold you back. but I also think there are times when it is better, safer, wiser, to bide your time and find other ways to “speak” that don’t put you at risk.
Certainly, on this day where we celebrate Martin Luther King and the way he spoke up, there can’t be any better symbol of what it means to be American than that great lady who still greets ships coming into the harbor at New York City.