One word, both noun and verb, an ominous container, quite possibly trapping all the secrets of the world that could turn the tides of ignorance and bring forth healing, growth and connectivity for all humankind.
Walls, caverns, prisons of silence - as large as a culture, as small as a family. Silence finds its way into the most vulnerable of lives and spreads like a weed that multiplies exponentially, choking out the life of hope and courage that dares try to grow along its wicked path. Silence tricks us; silence enslaves us; silence holds us back.
If we let it.
But what if we don’t?
My grandmother was born in 1929 and she left this world this summer, praised by many for never uttering a bad word about anyone. I am sure there was great wisdom in her silence, as she was certainly a graceful and gracious woman. And yet, also, I find myself wondering often, what was it she could not, dare not, say? What did her culture, her religion, her family, her duty as good wife and mother and sister and daughter prevent her from asking? To herself, much less to the world?
It is the year 2010 and much has changed in my part of the globe, indeed across all parts, since my grandmother’s girlhood. Yet, much has not. Struggles facing girls and women, indeed humanity and the environment as we know them, abound everywhere.
Yet, perhaps a main difference for girls and women worldwide today is that we are no longer separated indefinitely by silence. The walls and divides silence has owned for generations are giving way, shattering before our very eyes, as girls and women are reclaiming something many never knew they lost – their voices.
You see, there is a power much greater than silence. It springs forth whenever and wherever a young girl questions her place in the world, wherever a woman shuts her ears to the lies which surround and oppress her and listens to the truth of her own soul.
That power is our voice. And it comes from a place that can never be reached by outsiders, a place so protected and honored that the very gatekeeper herself is a girl or woman of great honor and respect. She IS us. We ARE her. Our voice is our glory, our weapon, our art, our legacy, our protest, our celebration, our pride and our truth. Our voice resides within us and comes forth exactly when needed, and it has never been needed - individually or collectively - more essentially than now.
Web 2.0 is a tool to share voice. It is a tool to break down barriers, both to our own wisdom within and to the wisdom without. Web 2.0 is a connector, a bridge – from one warrior to the next - sharing experience, asking why (or perhaps, why not), offering hope - breaking free.
Silence, beware. Your days are numbered.