In the aftermath of the Larry Nassar fiasco this past week, I got to thinking about the courage to speak out, and speak up, and take action. I watched several of the videos of the courageous gymnasts who faced the accused, the judge-and the amazing way she handled herself, and I found myself applauding. This then got me thinking further….
For anyone who has followed me for a while now, you will know, that I have this thing about rocking the boat. I love boat rockers. These are the people, that create change. These are the people, that challenge what has always been, take a deep breath, prepare as much as possible, and then get in the boat, and start rocking it to make things better.
So what exactly is a ‘boat rocker’? I looked up the literal definition in the Merriam Webster’s Dictionary (2016), and it read: ‘Someone who challenges the status quo’. And that is where the coined phrase, ‘don’t ever rock the boat’ came from.
Society tells us not to rock the boat. Society tells us that we are to abide by the way things are done, no matter how destructive and toxic those things may be. Shaking things up will create well… waves. At the heart of this, is the fear of change. I don’t think that I need to explain that most people hate change. And organizations, even more than individuals, hate change. They hate it so much, that bullying tactics are used in workplaces and companies, to ensure, that nothing will ever shift.
I believe, in digging into this fear a bit deeper, that at the heart of this, is that people do not want the change (no matter what the situation), because it forces them to have to change. For them to look in the mirror.
As a fellow boat rocker, I can certainly attest to this. When you rock those waters so to speak, and you force change, or challenge the status quo, as the good dictionary defines, you are not going to be that popular for a time. It can in fact be a very lonely existence out in that boat.
I have had many times in my life, where I sat in that boat, all by myself, with the only thing keeping me calm and at peace, being the knowledge that I had done the right thing. In time, others will catch up. They always do. And those that don’t? You do not want them in your boat anyhow.
If you go back in history, and look at some of our most famous people, that evoked change, you will see a pattern. They-were boat rockers. To name just a few? Martin Luther King, Jr., Leonardo da Vinci, Ghandi, Leo Tolstoy, and Jesus Christ. I don’t think I need to explain some of the amazing contributions that these individuals provided.
I have seen so many people that want to speak up, they want to challenge the status quo, and they want to make a difference. But fear gets in the way. Fear of not being liked, fear of being viewed as too outspoken, fear of the unknown. I even read somewhere that the judge that faced Larry Nassar was viewed by some as being ‘too mean’. Man… imagine if she had, had fear of being viewed as that!
Therapy can help. I have made it one of my life’s missions, to assist individuals that want to be a part of evoking the change. Whether it is in your own life, the life of your family, an organization you work for, or just society at large. It takes baby steps, and it is not easy. It certainly was not easy for the above individuals that I mentioned. It starts with one small step, one little tilt of the ‘boat’.
It takes a great deal of courage and strength to be that voice. I for one, will always think about the individuals mentioned prior whenever I am having a weak, ‘what if’ moment. I encourage you all to do the same…..
Get Rocking !