martes, mayo 30, 2006

the transformation of silence into language and action 

"i have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. that the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect … and of course i am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger … we can learn to speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to speak when we are tired. for we have been socialized to respect fear more than our needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence of that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us. the fact that we are here and that i speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not differences which immobilizes us, but silence. and there are so many silences to be broken. "

Audre Lorde, 1980

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This is a beautiful statement, and one I have seen enacted so many times in organizations. Especially in groups where there is more truth to be spoken but it would mean risking negative perceptions and then the unnamed negative repercussions that might follow. Often in the face of the tension, only one person's voice can break the silence. Guess whose voice that might be?
Thank you Dan for sharing your thoughts of acknowledgement about the potential threat that taking a stance could bring in organizations. I can only attribute to consciousness that voice you aim to uncover.
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