MSU PR student Kaitlyn Kellough talks about speaking with courage in the face of controversy

From Kaitlyn Kellough (Springfield MO)

If you ask any person on the street for a word to describe life in today’s society there’s no doubt that the word ‘controversial’ would come up.  Almost every topic that is up for discussion is. With so many  things deemed in our society as controversial, it’s easy to feel intimidated during conversation.  It seems as if the easiest route in all things is to ride the fence, pretend you have no stance, or simply not take part in the conversation at all. By doing these things you don’t have to worry, there’s no fear, it’s 100% comfortable. There’s no risk of someone attacking your beliefs.  You can feign indifference or indecision, and by choosing one of these you avoid debate and the potential to have your worldview disputed. But you have those views, they’re your own.  You created them and shaped them through years of life and learning.  Don’t you think that they deserve to be shared?  That there may be someone in the world challenged by your thoughts? What if having the courage to speak up could be the catalyst to great events?  What if your courageous words could change the world? Just think:

Step 1: You bravely give your viewpoint

Step 2: Someone angrily disagrees

Step 3: You civilly rationalize with them on why you see the world this way

Now, simply becuase you state your opinion doesn’t mean someone will agree with you.  In fact, in todays world the chances are that they won’t.  But, just maybe the fact that you were courageous enough to stand up for what you believe in, and civil enough to willingly communicate with someone who disagrees will get that person and others thinking. Someone else may be challenged by your words, someone may be inspired to speak themselves, and when we all choose to be courageous  with our words and civil with our reactions, nothing can stop us.