In these times of confusion and chaos and disturbing facts and disturbing rumors, there’s actually a math equation that helps explain it all.
S = B + AB
S = Silence – business as usual, status quo, carry on, all is well. Many years ago, I was on the school board of my kids school. We had dismal turnout for association meetings and we always took that to be an implied agreement with the way things were going.
B = Beliefs – Values – things you see as important.
AB = Appearance of Belief
So, if you are silent because you believe that things – whatever that might be – your kids school, your church, your sports team, the way the local bakery makes it ‘s donuts or whatever – you believe that those things are going well. Then silence is okay. Carry on, all is well.
But, if you are silent, not only are you seen as approving what you believe is going well, you are also giving the appearance of belief in other things that are going on. You might not believe those things – but if you don’t speak up about them, then it appears that you believe in those.
You might not believe that Clinton’s private e-mail server was right, but if you didn’t speak up about it, you gave the appearance that it didn’t matter.
You might not believe that a certain person should play a role in the new administration, but if you keep silent, it gives the appearance of belief.
You might not believe that it’s okay to ridicule someone with disabilities but if you keep silent, it gives the appearance of belief.
You might not believe that the entire “platform” of the person you voted for is acceptable but if you keep silent, it gives the appearance of belief.
You might not believe it’s okay that one person loses his job over a video about the treatment of women and the other gets elected President, but if you keep silent, it gives the appearance of belief.
You might not like the way someone expresses their concern over an issue but at least you know what they believe. If you’re silent, you are giving others the ability to “think” they know what you believe. That can lead to people assuming that because you like __________ policy that the President Elect is proposing and are silent about the other policies that you don’t like, you are perceived to be in agreement with those policies.
I know (or at least I hope) that the percentage of people from “the church” who believe all of the policies and racial and immigration and registration proposals of the new administration is very small. But if those who voted for the new administration because they believed in one thing, now see something they don’t believe is right, they can not, they must not stay silent.
Because silence is the appearance of belief. If you are silent about the staffing choices that are being made, it appears that you believe they are okay.
If you are silent about conflict of interest issues that have come up already, then it appears you don’t think they are a problem.
If you are silent about the dramatic increase in hate crimes since November 8, then it appears that you believe it isn’t a problem.
Silence is not golden. Not to those who fear that the coming changes in the US government are potentially devastating to them and their families.
S = B + AB
Speak up about the things you see that are wrong.