16 January 2014

Would you speak out if you disagreed with something even if doing so would make you a potential target for negative comments and criticism? I think it’s probably in my nature to open my mouth if I feel something is wrong (those who know me will be nodding their heads right now) yet I understand why people might choose to keep quiet.

Speaking out about certain issues can sometimes feel like you’re playing with fire as some people will always disagree or slate you. Many caring people who could make a positive impact in the world don’t have the stomach to go into politics for this reason. However, there are a number of people throughout history who have shunted popularity to fight for a cause.

There’s a lot of discussion at the moment ahead of the Oscars about Steve McQueen’s film ’12 Years a Slave’. It got me thinking about William Wilberforce, the MP and social reform campaigner who campaigned for the abolition of slavery in the late 1700s. Wilberforce would have been deeply unpopular with a number of people, but he never stopped doing what he thought was right, and we live in a better world because of the work of people like him. What would have happened if he – and people like him – had remained silent?

It can be difficult sometimes to know when it’s your place to speak out. What do you think? Is it sometimes wiser to refrain from comment or is it always best to speak your mind?

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