The most courageous act is to think for yourself.
~ Coco Chanel
Live out loud. That's a scary thought for a woman like me, raised in a home where children were seen and not heard. Of course, I'm not a child any longer, not by a long shot. And since both my parents are gone, it's not like anyone is around to remind me that I'm still someone's child.
But living out loud carries risks, no matter how old you are.
Fourteen-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer lived out loud, with the support of his family and a small circle of friends (Phil Ochs, where are you now when we need you?). Bullying eventually drove Jamey to commit suicide – a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Politicians, red and blue, live out loud, offering themselves up to ridicule and judgment daily with some of the crazy things they say.
We bloggers, especially we who are small-time, not-popular, not widely read bloggers, live out loud a few times a week, throwing up a few paragraphs of what's on our minds this minute. I'm the kind of blogger who never plans what I'm going to write. What you read has gone from my brain to my fingers to the keyboard to the internets in about 15 minutes every (well, almost every) weekday morning.
I know some of you do a lot of research, aiming to instruct and inform, and I applaud you, because I love to be instructed and informed. I just don't want to be that kind of blogger.
I like to get things off my chest. What you think about it is none of my business, I try to tell myself, but really? Seriously? I want you to connect with what I write, I want you to think about it, mull it over, respond (if you're so inclined).
I like knowing that living out loud, even on an obscure blog, one of millions, is a way for me to be courageous.
Where's all this coming from? I probably read too many political newsfeeds on Facebook. I've replaced cable news with addictinginfo.org. I'm a political junkie, for sure, but only up to a point. I'm not interested in the Republican side of things until there's a nominee. I can't watch the run-up of endless debates and posturing and pie-in-the-sky solutions to this country's problems. What I do is read about them after the fact.
At last night's event, a gay soldier on active duty in the Middle East was booed by the right-wing conservative audience. I guess they were living out loud, too, holding themselves up to ridicule, but also, I'm sure, being praised by those whose freedom and liberty that soldier is defending.
I'm afraid for my country. I see so much hypocrisy, mostly – but not limited to – the Party of No. No, you can't have disaster relief. No, you can't have health care. No, you can't have a job. No, you can't have peace.
Perhaps I should go to the kitchen and make something, bake something. That's what my granddaughter does when she's upset or sad.
Perhaps, I should stick to my knitting.