“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
I think today’s inspirational quote is true. The day we shut up and take it, life, as we know it, descends gradually, to its inevitable end. I’ve experienced this descent, and I can tell you, it’s one horrific slide. Not something I would recommend.
What this brings to my mind is that people will only treat you the way you allow yourself to be treated. I know, I know, we can’t control the actions of others, but what we can control is our reaction. We can demand to be treated the way we deserve to be treated. No one must accept things are the way that they are.
I did this in my first marriage. I remember, it was the day after my wedding night, and me and my new husband were traveling to my mother’s house to open our wedding gifts. For a moment, it was marital bliss. I was happy, and sure that this happiness would last for the rest of my life.
The conversation we were having started out great. We had been discussing the road trip to Nebraska (I had a scholarship to a private university there), and up to that point, my new husband was onboard with me attending college. But then, the conversation turned dark, and before I knew it, he was screaming at me about his rules for our marriage.
Rule #1 – Never talk to another man.
Rule #2 – Do not invite classmates to our apartment.
Rule #3 – His needs must always come before my school work.
Rule #4 – He was the boss. I must follow his instruction without question.
Of course, being the mouthy young woman that I was, I resisted every rule, which spawned a wicked argument while we were driving. He screamed. I screamed, at first out of anger, and then out of fear as he threatened to kill me. He sped up, yanked hard on the steering wheel, and mashed on the brakes.
The car spun out of control, and we ended up in a ditch next to the highway. I was panicked and tried to exit the vehicle, and as I leaned out of the door, extreme pain spread across the center of my back. I felt his fingers thread through my hair. As he grabbed a handful of it, my head snapped back. His twisted face came into view, and he was demanding that I obey. He told me that I was his property now, and he would do what he wanted.
After his anger subsided and my punishment ended, we made our way to my mother’s house. I remained silent about the event. Never said a word. That’s how things went for the rest of that marriage. While his anger and violence wasn’t my fault, I did allow it to continue through my silence. I can tell you, silence equals submission.
Whatever you do in life, don’t allow another human being to treat you badly. Speak up, whether through words or action. Otherwise, the end will be upon you before you know it.