If You're Gonna Say Something...

It all started when a too full environmental science class
led me to register for none other than... Ethics.

I'm not sure if you've taken an ethics class, but I have a tip:
don't take it in as your fifth of four college course in your first semester of collegiate work at age sixteen.
This, my friends, is not recommended
but is precisely where I found myself a few weeks ago.

The class intros clued me in; out of the sixteen participates, I am the youngest by two years to one guy, and younger than the rest by basically 7+ years.


I'm determined to step up and conquer this challenge (so far so good!), but one response to a discussion forum regarding moral relativism made the discussion real as it ventured deeper than others had dared.

The other posts still in my mind, this one pushed some thoughts to the forefront of my brain:

People make sweeping claims and do not back up them up.
People function from assumptions they've never analyzed before.
People don't often put themselves in the shoes of "the other side" of what they're considering.
Sometimes, I wonder if people are even capable of reading the question and actually answering according to what the question asks.

I wonder this because I can see it in myself, too.

How do we make issues get real?
How do we express our opinions with grace?
Should we even try to think more deeply?

Here's some lessons I'm learning from this class that's so good for me it hurts.

1.  Do not be afraid to disagree (and don't be timid about it).

You have a unique brain.
Your brain thinks in a unique way.
People need these thoughts in your brain because they are not exactly like anyone else's.
Use your brain, then.  Really think about issues, but if you disagree, don't sugar coat it and be all insecure.  Say what you mean and mean what you say - even if it's not what others are saying.  Be firm in your convictions, yet a truth seeker who is willing to hear others and willing to change if different truth become apparent.
World changers, though, weren't afraid to speak up as they fought against the current.

2.  Do not be afraid of being different.

You've got something to say, and maybe your thoughts seem to be going to places that people don't even know are there to explore.  Maybe being different means you are going to write little longer, talk a little more, or ask different questions.  Maybe you are going to use longer words and have sentences that are jam-packed with information.
Sometimes, you just. gotta. do. it.
So be different in your writing - write what's on your heart in the way that's on your heart to write it.  Speak what's nagging at your mind to whom you know it needs to be spoken. 
Cause I think the world could use a little more of different

3. For the sake of everybody, please just use your brain!

This has been hitting me in the face lately:
my concentration has gone out of the window.
I mean, Twitter gives you 140 characters and sometimes that feels like the length of my attention span.
Tests require more than a 140 character brain.  Conversations require more than a quick check in and check out whenever you feel like it.
Life requires us to show up for more than a 140 character window,
but it's up to us whether we are going to engage or not.
Amazing things can happen if we really use our brains and engage with the problems that are around us if we'll only look,
so why not do it?

Here's to not being afraid to speak what's on our hearts...
for the sake of others.
© 2014 Deborah Hope Shining


  1. Agreed Sis! The first two point really encouraged me! I'm Daniel from India. God has given me so much Grace to stand for him amongst the unsaved over here. Honestly last week I was completely challenged by friends who thought I was too strange! Beginning to feel the heat! Be different and disagree! Yes and Amen! Keep writing! God use you.


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?