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Demarcating between Civility and Passivity: Finding our Voice

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

Where to draw the line?

We bend and accommodate, in an effort to be amiable.

Anticipating actions and reactions, often unseen acts done with consideration, incurring emotional strain as a result of these mental gymnastics performed, multiple times a day.

Hoping to be seen and recognized for our generosity of spirit.

We brush aside a slight, and then a second and a third, rationalizing to ourselves that there’s always a deeper reason behind the behaviour that hurts, that stings, that is intended to inflict injury.

We let it go.

To be seen, appreciated and valued.

We rise above.

Yeah, you have a point. I mean, that’s the basis of civility, is it not? No need to take bad behaviour personally, or to make a big deal if someone speaks and is a little off-side. Let it roll off the ol’ shoulder, that’s what I say!

No one ever tells us that the simplest way to lose sight of ourselves, lose sight of our value, is often accomplished through good intentions.

We intend to rise above, and in doing so, fail to advocate for our boundaries.

We intend to let it go, and in turn signal to ourselves and others, our own sense of worthiness.

So much gets lost in translation, when we allow behaviour that hurts, that diminishes, and that silences… to continue.

In an effort to be amiable.

There is no definitive line that affirms when we are no longer responding as our higher selves, but rather chipping away at our own sense of dignity, morale and value.

There is a line.

We cross it too often.

I mean you’re right, there is a line and yeah, it’s not fair when I’m always the one to concede, to let it go and rise above… but what’s the alternative?! Sometimes, these scenarios are the ones that play out with colleagues, family members, and the “higher ups…” while I enjoy a poetic sentiment as much as the next person, the cost and risks associated with speaking up are sometimes too high.

So we tell ourselves.

To justify attributing our present circumstances with more value than our sense of dignity and self-worth.

Is our fear of change, of resistance and disruption, so great that we would allow ourselves to shrink to fit into something familiar, though enervating?

Many of us are so desensitized by the mistreatment that we experience, we lose sight of our ability to respond, unsure as to how we would focus on our own preservation.

We are the best and most informed ally, that we stand to have for ourselves, if only we developed the courage to speak up.

Silenced by our fear of consequence and the unknown.

Though, with all of its challenges and surprises, the unknown holds for us a reality that we play a role in creating.

A reality where we govern, decide and choose, what fits us best, based on the kind of environment and setting we know will allow us to flourish.

Choosing to place ourselves among people, and in places, that sustain, nourish, and support us in who we are and who we are becoming.

Giving ourselves permission to grow, beyond the confines of everyone’s perception of who we are and stand to be.

Though, it requires that we speak up and stand out.

No penalty is greater than the regret and shame we experience, when we think on our own silence in the face of our mistreatment.

So draw your line, and hold yourself accountable to it.

Aligned to your sense of self-love, inner-strength and truth.

Rise to the occasion.

#SpeakingUp #Relationships #Community #Accountability #SelfRespect #Civility #Passivity #Boundaries #LinesInTheSand


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