#thoughtfulthursday 14: Speak Up

It takes courage to speak out, to stand up for what’s right, to shout for those who cannot shout for themselves. You may not be popular, but your words could change someone’s life for the better.

Jaime Thurston challenges us to “be strong for those who can’t be and be a voice for those who need it.”
It may involve taking the simple action of making someone feel that they are not alone in what they are facing, giving them courage to face another day. It could be a life’s mission to see a social injustice changed.

We can all have a part in speaking out for others and showing compassion. For most of us, it will be the small ever day things that matter and make a difference to the lives of those around us. If we are going to speak up, we need to first take notice. It is easy to become so absorbed in our own lives that we don’t reach out and connect with what’s going on in our home, street or local community. We become increasingly isolated individuals and can become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

During a period of my life I was struggling with feeling lonely. It didn’t really make sense as I had friends and was part of a church community which focused on building relationships and connecting with people. However, I felt what I felt, and it would be easy to think the problem had to be solved by someone else. Then one day I felt challenged: if I could feel lonely, how must my elderly neighbour living on her own feel?

I set myself a challenge, instead of wallowing in feeling lonely, every time I began to feel that way I would invite my neighbour in for a cup of tea. She is now practically a part of our family and I have gained so much from our friendship. By lifting my eyes away from myself and taking notice, I could speak out against loneliness with a simple, “shall I put the kettle on?” It’s not rocket science but it made a difference to my neighbour and I was richer for it too.

Just think how easy it would be to combat loneliness if those that could took notice and spoke up, even if it was just to say, “would you like a cup of tea?”


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