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Keeping silent

By April 19, 2023 April 20th, 2023 No Comments

A single dissenting voice may just be what is needed at a particular time to empower others and influence thoughts and that voice could be yours.

There are a lot of times that we choose to keep silent which does not always serve a purpose.

Granted that there are times it’s wise not to raise your voice especially when it will bring negative outcomes.

Regardless of the negative outcomes or pushing the wrong thoughts that can cause social and public harm, raise your voice to bring positive change.

A lone voice may just be what will change a whole system. When you raise your voice and I raise mine, we will together effect changes in human behaviour, government policies, and social observances.

In the 1950s, Solomon Asch researched about what makes people conform to a popular view and the extent to which social pressure from a majority view could affect a person to conform. People are afraid to be singled out and they rather maintain the status quo or go with the crowd.

The crowd is not always right; they can be wrong where they conform following the bandwagon effect.

Read Also: The implications of popular opinion

Again, in the 1980s, Charlan Nemeth and other researchers studied the way pressure on people makes them conform and how it affects the society and people. Nemeth and her colleague Cynthia Chiles found that those who speak up, the nonconformists can boost their effectiveness and encourage others by remaining consistent and deliberate when they voice dissent. They also found that by leading the way the nonconformists shatter the effects of conformity. This helps people to speak up about their own perspectives and even on issues that do not relate.

People feel free to share their opinions when they have seen there are others who are freely sharing their perspective.

But in sharing opinions, such opinions should be raised and at the appropriate time for effectiveness.

Imagine if the Nigerian Vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo raised his voice during the raging voter suppression, ethnic profiling, violence and threats to life in Lagos state? At the time, one strong dissenting voice should have had a big effect and the rage coming from his people, it would have stopped the destruction of life and property. He kept silent, many notable people kept silent. Then, after the destruction, they began to condemn the act.

One lone voice, and in particular if it is a loud lone voice, can stop evil to be perpetrated. A lone voice can stop a society from doing wrong to individuals and the government from pursuing a bad policy. A lone voice can stop criminals from crime and a lone voice can steer a society towards doing good. A lone voice can bring insight to business problem and change ethics.

To stop people from keeping silent, there is a greater need to encourage free speech. But, having free speech does not mean going about saying awful things. Being free to share your perspective is largely to be able to raise your voice when you think things are not going the right way. It is to correct anomalies and make others think towards where ordinarily they would not think about.

I can go on and on to explain the effects of keeping silent. By writing this, I am encouraging you to be a lone voice where it is mostly required and needed. Do not think that you are not in position to say anything while things go bad and stay bad. Raise your voice.

Do not keep silent, be the lone voice. Do not always be the conformist, try being a nonconformist.

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