All the Way Bold—Yes, You Have Permission!
by Kathy Custren
Could it be that many of us are too fearful to be bold? “Are we allowed to do it,” we wonder to ourselves. What might it take to prompt us into taking action, when we might very well be surrounded by others just as stiff and silent?
“It is best to ask for forgiveness than beg permission.”
This popular quote is attributed to a variety of sources. Underneath, the message is the same. We are encouraged and empowered to take action first and foremost. Too often, many of us are rendered immobile while armed with the simple, if not feeble, excuse that we were not asked to intervene.
This popular passage, often attributed to the Holocaust, has made its way into memedom, online:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.”
No matter which way we look, we are surrounded by the very real image of our inaction. Do we fear to speak up or act because of some misbegotten idea of how it might look to others? What about those people who speak out loud what others are really thinking?
The World Around Us Tells a Story
Quite often, we are entertained by the world around us. It tells us a story that is highly engaging; yet so many of us seem to care little about our environment. We can point the finger of blame easily enough, thanks to the profits of large corporations that have polluted our land, clear cut trees in forests and the rainforest, dumping waste into the oceans and fouling our very drinking water with chemicals.
When was the last time any of us got together to plant a garden, tree, clean up litter, or join forces to protest a land or water grab? Any one of us, inspired by the old story of Johnny Appleseed, may be the one person behind a noticeable difference between this broken now and the new, better ones ahead. Forward thinking takes boldness; yes, indeed.
Today's Politics, as Proof of the Bold
In the political campaign for U.S. President in 2016, we have noteworthy examples as proof that there are people who have the guts to say what others are thinking, but may be too afraid to speak out loud. What has been the outcome of this so far?
At present, Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, instills a sense of hopeful optimism as he garners traction on the road to the White House. People from other countries where education is free and all people work “part-time hours” (compared to workers in the U.S.), already feel Bernie is a winner. The massive and growing throngs who attend his rallies all tend to agree that we do need more audacious moves toward health care for all, free education, and other bold social initiatives that benefit the many.
The Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, also boldly speaks what is on the minds of many, along with significant rhetoric and couched double-speak. Although many would find Trump quite reluctant to beg forgiveness of anyone, his more flamboyantly ignorant attitude where he mimics the disabled and promises to build walls of separation has not won him the instant favor of his own political party. He continues to draw crowds who are inflamed to the point of threatened violence, because this is the audience who most appreciates his story and his sense of boldness.
Our ultimate and individual choice lies in deciding where we feel we are—being one of the many or a part of the few? It is very much up to you.
All the Way Bold: Boldness Goes Beyond
As a teenager, I admit to routinely pushing the envelope when it came to what my parents would stand—dating an older guy, staying out overnight with friends, you name it. As a parent myself, I always thought that my past would come back to visit me three-fold, and I totally geared myself up to meet that challenge. However, with most of my children already grown into adulthood, the torch now goes to them to carry on the boldness.
I have to ask myself, and be honest: Are they up to the boldness challenge?
This is a question any of us can ask, at any given moment. Do we have what it takes to go beyond the current limit of our present boldness level? That's right, going all the way bold! If we rank our boldness level at a three right now, what might it take for us to reach a level five? What would it take to drive that level up to a ten or higher...really off the scale—all the way bold—like a flame turned up to its highest?
How would we act then? Would we be more like a Donald Trump or find greater kinship in a Bernie Sanders?
Wishing us all much great and mindful boldness in the months ahead: All the way bold!
About the Author
Kathy Custren, OMTimes Senior Editor, is a mother of four, who strives for balance and has a deep respect for All. Interests include education, elements, nature, humanity's cosmic origins, philosophy, spirituality, and wellness. Connect with her community page "Consciousness Live" on Facebook.