There was a song back in the sixties called “Silence is Golden (but my eyes still see)” It was the voice of someone who knew someone he loved was being deceived and hurt, who had people telling him to be silent. Sometimes silence is called for, intervention not wanted. Some people need to find out things on their own and learn their own hard lessons. And there is the proverb that says “better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt”.

But there is also “silence means consent. There are times when we need to speak up, to speak in defense or support of others, to speak out against injustice. In those times silence is not golden. We need to know when to speak and how. Our voices must not be muted.

And beyond the matters of right and wrong, there is the need for stories to be told. There are innumerable stories out there that could help others if they were only told. I believe that everyone has stories to tell that we need to hear. And there are millions out there who need to tell their stories, not just for our sakes, but for their own.

There is magic in the telling, there is release in the telling, Stories of victories need to be told so those who are losing the battle can know how to win. Stories of loss need to be told so that those who are hurting know that they are not alone We can all learn, if only we hear those stories.

And there are many ways to express the stories. Poems, songs, narrative, lecture. That is why part of my why is to inspire people to express themselves. We have all had that first time to share in front of people. We have all had times of messing up the delivery. And in general the audiences we speak to want us to succeed and welcome the telling. But even if they don’t we still need to express our stories.