Being Heard Without Being Loud

This "tank dress" was made by piecing together thousands of knitted and crochet squtares sent in by people from Denmark, the UK, and the US, who opposed Denmark's involvement in the Iraq War. The artist, Marianne Joergensen said, "The possibility of “knitting your opinions” gives the project an aspect that I think is important. The common element in the project gives importance beyond words. [snip] Unsimilar to a war, knitting signals home, care, closeness and time for reflection. Ever since Denmark became invol ved in the war in Iraq I have made different variations of pink tanks, and I intend to keep doing that, until the war ends. For me, the tank is a symbol of stepping over other people’s borders. When it is covered in pink, it becomes completely unarmed and it loses it’s authority." You can see more pictures and a short documentary about the making of this pink tank here.

This is how I imagine the "Children should be seen and not heard," mandate of yesteryear could be re-interpreted as an adult who grew up with that message. You might not want to "hear" me, but you'll get the message anyway!!! I also think that speaks volumes (pun intended) about the ability of person to get their point across without being loud.

I, personally, have been accused of "letting others walk all over me," because I didn't immediately react with a verbal response that seemed appropriate to observers. While it may appear that way at times, I try to be selective about the words I use, about the message I want to convey, because I KNOW how much trouble words can cause. You know the saying, right? We have only one mouth and two ears so we can listen more and talk less. Well, I really work at that. I work at understanding where that other person is coming from. I take time to process their comments, then I formulate a response and wait for the appropriate moment to address the issue. IF there is something that needs to be addressed, I address it. Sometimes, it really is worth letting it go.

Sometimes, there really is nothing to say. No response at all helps some people to work through their issue on their own, just by letting them continue speaking without being interrupted or confronted. Sometimes silences say alot more than words ever can. They let the person know that you are not going to engage them in their "war", no matter how much they try. The visual image of your calm in the midst of their "storm" can really help.

Anyway, those are just my few thoughts about quiet protest. I have found success personally in living quietly, and I just felt compelled to say that not all activists are loud. :)

1 comment:

the Goddess diana said...

this makes me long for the tank that rested in my favorite childhood park (which no longer exists, property taxes are waaaay more important than kids having fresh air and green grass!) IF it were still there, I'd get the Imagination Tribe together to do this... we should find out if a peacenic on our list has a tank in their town. ♥