Truly Scary.

I’d like to take a break from posting about spooky things to write about something that genuinely scares me.

I am flat-out terrified of conflict.

And I’m talking about conflict in conversation. Political discussions, for instance. One hint of conflict, and I immediately start crying. I don’t know why. I don’t want to start crying. I want to respond like Aaron Sorkin is writing my dialogue, drop the mic like Eminem and dance like Victor Cruz.

I know how I’m voting. I know what I believe. And I’m not ashamed of my beliefs. I’m a bright, educated, employed woman who has put a lot of thought into how best to serve the world. But breaking down in tears at the first sign of a raised voice is not really getting that message across.

Then there’s this; I’m an American. I’m free to do and say a lot of things that people around the world cannot. Hey other Americans, can you imagine living in a world where a girl gets shot in the head, in public, because she wants an education? We do live in that world. We just don’t live in that country.

I’m not brave, like Malala. I know I would not have spoken out as she has done, without any of the liberties and protections I enjoy here. Especially when I watch things like this, and see the reality of the risks she took on a daily basis. (Warning: disturbing images)

So it turns out conflict isn’t the only thing that makes me cry.

In the face of this, how laughable is it that I fear getting into arguments with my friends.

I still think that actions speak louder than words, but I also know that I have to start speaking up.

Thank you, Malala Yousafzai.

Support for Malala Yousafzai can be sent here.

To learn about supporting girls and women around the world, start with The Girl Effect and Half the Sky.

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