I grew up in a household where my father believed that women had the right to express themselves. Now this didn’t mean you had the right to yell and scream, but if you had a valid point you had every right to communicate your point of view. This was nurtured and valued because he wanted us to have our own opinions, beliefs and inspirations. My dad was our first teacher in feminism. So fast forward to my upcoming 52nd year of life. This week I am learning there is a fine art to keeping my mouth shut. You know that country song by Kenny Rogers, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, and know when to fold ‘em…” start playing in my head the last week. Here are the reasons I kept my mouth shut the last few weeks:
Does the path you’re headed down lead you to a “win?” I was once in a battle for what I thought was one of the most important things in my life. I came in the meeting with area statistics, population surveys, survey monkey data and all the board members asked, “Would this hit it out of the park?” Uh? I am from a sports family so I understand lots of sports, but never in the board room. I was quiet most of that meeting after my presentation. But when I got home that evening I bought my staff a book who read up on sports metaphors and the boardroom. Next meeting, we had lots to say using the board members language!
Don’t have something nice to say? One of my Grandma Green favorite sayings. Still true today. Enough said.
It would make me seem defensive, closed-minded, or even cantankerous. This is me. I get tired of defending my choices. There is no reason to always explain myself. Last time I checked….Yes I am a Black Woman, northern raised, southern cultivated, with lots of good opinions, smart ‘cause my dad said there are no dummies in his house, who believes in God and having a drink on Friday with her friend. Oh yeah and yes those are really my eyes. Just because I am all these things and more does not make me less than, in fact in makes me so much greater. So I have been quiet these days….
So, when in doubt, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. When you don’t say anything, you can’t get into hot water for it.
Quote for the week: Open your mind before you open your mouth.