On Saturday evening I had a dilemma. We celebrated Grete’s mom’s birthday. For her special day, I, as a cheeky potential future son-in-law, wrote a funny poem to surprise her.
No one knew that I did this, no one expected for me to read this. I was sitting all evening thinking, should I read the poem out loud or rather sit quietly and leave it for myself. If she and others would like it, I will get bonus points. If not, I will be known as a weirdo.
I understood that I would never figure out the outcome myself. So, at the very end of the evening, when most guests were already in pleasant condition, I took the risk and performed my poem.
Ching-ching – bonus points received.
The times I didn’t speak up
It made me think about other moments in life when I could have said something but didn’t.
As a shy and introvert youngster, I have followed Abraham Lincoln’s quote: “Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt”.
Looking back, I have many regrets to not speak up for my values, tell the story, give a speech, or ask the scary uncomfortable question. In other words, I regret taking the risk to look stupid or weirdo.
How many times do I regret being too talkative and active? Almost none.
There’s another quote from Charles Bukowski that is especially present in today’s politics: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence”.
Here’s the encouraging takeaway: when in doubt, better speak up. Sometimes you might make fool of myself, but at the other times collect some valuable bonus points (especially when it involves potential in-laws).