top of page

Know Jack #318 Speak Up

“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval.”

Shannon L. Alder

As a child we learn to speak by mimicking the sounds made by others and then attaching significance to those sounds. The process of acquiring language doesn’t stop. This point was driven home to me in a very real, and embarrassing, fashion when my seven-year-old grandson dropped his pencil in class one day and immediately declared, “Shit fire and save the matches.”

No one doubted from whence this colorful originated. I own a double shot responsibility for that one for forgetting that he would never suspect grandpa of saying anything improper. He heard the words, connected them to my expression of frustration, and repeated them without really know what he said.

He is older and wiser now. The chief lesson being, think or yourself so that when you speak, you speak for yourself. He probably still expresses the need to be thrifty with matches, but now he knows of what he speaks and whereof he affirms.

Sadly, many of my contemporaries and fewer of his peers have mastered this skill. They are little more than parrots mimicking buzzwords and socially accepted rantings. They are empowered, woke, and inclusive until questioned when in all dissolves into a gibberish of slogan repetition. (Four legs good, two legs bad!)

I’ve heard it said that speech is thinking out loud. So, it makes sense to me that where there is little thinking, speech is vague, pasteurized, and homogenous.

Many writers started out by adopting the style of a favorite author—mine was Poe. This is fine as a child’s learning tool. But when I became a man, I put away childish things, well, writing anyway. I developed my own voice. Not everyone hears my voice, fewer agree with what I say, and fewer still care at all that I am even speaking.

A writer speaks for many characters, but in each of them the writer’s voice comes through. The writer’s word choices, expressions, and philosophy are his/her own. The price of having a unique voice is rejection. If you write and can’t handle rejection, either give it up or learn to live with it. The only one who can silence your voice is you.


4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page