For Goodness Sake, Emma, Shut Up
The news is terrifying. When we see pictures of horrifying events, our world is then glutted with reactions of violence and disbelief, anger and tumult. There are calls to arms, calls for peace, and silence. That many of those calls for peace and silence are made by those that perpetrated the crimes that caused the maelstorm doesn’t go unnoticed and fuels the fire more. The calls for silence hurt the most.
I was thinking today about how often in my life I’ve been told to shut up. When I was four, my teacher regularly beat me for singing or playing too loudly. When I was fourteen, a girl I’d known all my life, told me shut up when I was being abused on the school bus. When I started teaching, my boss told me to put my principles in my pocket and think of the money. My career came to abrupt end when I was told, over twenty years later, to go quietly, when those pockets started to weigh me down and I stopped thinking of the money.
I’ve a read a quote somewhere, attributed to two different men, saying that too many good men die with the song still in them. I’m not going anywhere with my song unsung. I want to sing it from the rooftops. I want to sing for everyone who has been told to shut up all their lives. I want to sing to everyone who has been a bystander to abuse and done nothing. I want to sing to everyone who has been part of a machine that has produced clones of that reality star to stop thinking about the money. I want to sing to everyone to stop thinking about the money.
Right now, I am thinking I’ve said too much. I’m questioning myself. But this is my song and I must sing.