Say What’s On Your Mind

Courtesy of Rupert Ganzer on Flickr
I had a delightful airplane encounter this weekend.

Seated next to me from Chicago to New York was Aliza. As soon as I entered the row she introduced herself, then questioned me rapidly: “What’s your name?”, “Are you married?”, “How old are you?”

Throughout our delayed flight, she shared her anxiety about whether her caregiver would wait for her at LaGuardia; would I help her get to baggage claim (of course); could I help her get her bag out of overhead storage (yes); whether her phone would have enough battery power to call her caregiver (I offered mine); that she misses her family in Chicago; that she hates living in New York.

Aliza is twenty-four and has some disorder that makes it hard for her to get through the world alone. She also says what’s on her mind. I found that refreshing and inspiring.

Aliza was free, fresh and unashamed. The time I spent with her makes me recognize there’s plenty to say that goes unsaid because it’s not so comfortable to speak about. For some, they are feelings of affection, which is particularly tragic. For others, anxiety, because we want to be strong. For me, it’s disagreement with a proposed course or idea, because I don’t want to offend the proposer.

There have to be filters between the brain and the mouth, otherwise we’d all be friendless and jobless.

Still, because we work in a business that relies so heavily on strong relationships, I suggest the community could be a little stronger, maybe more successful, if we speak our minds more often.

Thank you, Aliza, for raising my awareness and reminding me to more often say what’s on my mind.

5 thoughts on “Say What’s On Your Mind

  1. Unfortunately today people are afraid to say what’s on their mind. I believe this is occurring because of the bullying nature of intolerant people; these intolerant people happen to be the most hypocritical people that you will ever meet. These intolerant people that bully others that speak their mind; only bully those people that disagree with them. These intolerant people, usually the loudest and most boisterous, are constantly crying about free speech; but the minute you disagree with them exercising your free speech, they will attack you personally, and hypocritically cry about intolerance! This bullying has been going on for quite some time now and what we see in public discourse is continual lukewarm, middle-of-the-road, play it safe and non-committal statements and ideas. Thus the term “you should be a politician.” The phenomenon of people like Chris Christie of New Jersey is really not that surprising, people really do want to hear others speak what is on their mind whether they agree with it or not. Great point you brought up in this article. Maybe it will help more people become emboldened to respectively say what they think and not worry about the politically correct bullies in our midst.

  2. Your story is such a great reminder of the power — and risks — of being open. Thanks for writing it up, Tony. I’ve found that the more guarded I am, the less able I am to make authentic contact. It’s often worth the risk.

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