You have taught me how to have a voice by expressing your VOICE.
The day I joined World Pulse, little did I know how it would help in changing my world.
I was captured by the title “VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS”.
Me! Have I VOICE? I questioned; I doubted; was skeptical? Would anyone listen? No one ever did before, why should they now? But I went ahead anyway and had my first journal entry “Daring to BE!” Ohhh it felt gooood……YES!!!! It felt goooood…..it felt LIBERATING.
I had been so silenced. Ever since I could remember. I had a good upbringing, I can’t complain, it had its challenges but who doesn’t as we have discovered.
“TUMAININI, do not talk back to your Elders. Do not answer back; it’s a sign of disrespect.”
“Okay” I answered. I kept quiet and remained quiet.
And so the pattern began. Whenever anyone in authority questioned me be it in class, in University……I submitted and agreed, but I always questioned in my mind. I had many questions.
My silence was interpreted as being shy, being quiet, being mature. I got the mature one a lot. I guess it was because people, especially teachers could still see me thinking, even if I kept quiet and all they really wanted me to do is verbalise my thoughts. But I couldn’t, the seeds had been planted and the roots were deep.
This continued but I slowly began to break free. One can only be silenced for so long. When pushed by others against the wall and by people taking advantage of my quiet nature. I had outbursts whereby I would express how I truly felt.
Oooh that was bad, the world did not like that. “You have censor yourself TUMAINI….you can’t tell the world what you really mean.” “You have to be diplomatic, you have to have tact, you have to sugar coat things”
I withdrew back again and thought to myself……well you might as well shut up! And that I did.
What brought this on you ask?
Many things. Correct me if I am wrong. Are there different rules for different people in this world? Why is it that when some people speak up their mind, they get a pat on their back and are told, well done, you did good to voice your opinion. But when others chose to do the same, they are questioned and looked at like they committed the worst sin.
No, it’s not because of the way one presented a point. One could say the same thing as the next person and they will still be looked at different.
In my opinion (ooh I like that “in my opinion”…I should say that more often…people rarely ask my opinion” sad I know hahahah…okay focus TUMAINI!) when I dare to speak my mind in the world, as I don’t normally do it. People are taken aback. People look at me differently. I’ve stopped trying to figure out why. Instead I walk away.
The last straw though was at the work place. Frustration does not even begin to explain what I feel. I do feel like my potential is not even close to being used as I do not even have a VOICE. That VOICE has been pushed and relegated to the side by myself, by others. (I can’t even get into the work place drama I face, that’s a rant for another day).
I cannot be silenced anymore though, WHY you ask……I now know why they look at me differently. It’s because they see the conviction I have when I speak. People listen and are taken aback, not because Im talking rubbish, but because they are afraid this quiet person is actually making loads of sense. (YES IM PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK….hey no one hardly does that to me in real life, so allow me this indulgence).
Reality is, people are afraid of change and that is what they experience with me when I SPEAK UP trust me, I am very different from my everyday self. Even I surprise myself at times. That’s why I love this poem:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
That’s why World Pulse appealed to me, it offered me the encouragement in becoming the person I needed to BE and for that I am grateful. Thank You to those who have taken the time to read my journal, to leave a comment and most of all that you to all the women who participate on this platform, you may not know it at times but i learn something new from at least one of you each day that helps me in becoming a better person. You all are in inspiration.