Outspoken is an odd descriptive word for stating one’s opinions out loud. If you think about it actually could mean that you get out spoken, that no matter what you say someone else has more words than you, speaks louder than you do, and your words get drowned out. In a way it is very expressive as those who are outspoken often unleash in others a torrent of retaliatory words against their own in an attempt to out speak the outspoken.
There are a lot of people, especially in social media, who spout opinions which they believe are controversial in some way and will draw shocked attention to them. They revel in winding people up, rubbing them the wrong way, prodding, poking, and inciting others to lash out at them in the hopes of setting them straight or shutting them up. They see themselves as a rebel, anarchist, purveyor of radical thought, speaker of truths, underdog hero, and liberator of the oppressed masses. The wolf who throws off the sheep disguise and then decides that all the other sheep must now do the same and they are going to be the ones to force them to do so. To them being a sheep is living a lie. Yet sometimes the wolf is a sheep wearing a disguise.
They often call others stupid, ignorant, blinkered, brainwashed, cowardly, and a whole slew of epithets designed to insult and thus provoke. They see buttons everywhere and they push them. Each time they do this they wait for the reactionary onslaught which will follow. The more outrage they can inspire in others, the more they feel victorious and noble in their quest to be a revolutionary speaker of that which others are afraid to say and hear. They feed on negative energy and transform it into positive juice which charges their battery and fuels them to keep going. Once in a while they go too far and retreat for a bit, but they always return because the rush of being the brunt of everyone’s wrath, the excitement of standing out and being a lightning rod in an electrical storm, of withstanding the searing flames of resentment and accusation which comes their way is too addictive to ever give up.
And frankly a lot of people enjoy being outraged and given an opportunity to vent their counter opinions out loud, so those who are deliberatively provocative and outspoken serve a very useful role in society, even if it is not quite the role they think they’re playing. They often help to solidify other groups and their beliefs. It’s a classic case of people joining together against a common enemy.
They also serve another purpose. Humans have two distinct needs in common – we seek safety and we seek danger. Order and chaos. We yearn for world peace, but we also lust for war. I think this is because safety, although at first very relaxing and comfortable eventually becomes static. We sit down in a very comfy chair and have no reason to ever get up again and we slowly vegetate. Our comfort zones become our prisons. So we need something to come along and jolt us out of our lethargy, to force us to get up and get moving again. We don’t like our comfort zones to be invaded, our safety bubbles being burst, but somewhere within us we grasp at the challenge and are enlivened by the shot of adrenalin which fear, danger and disorder inspire within us.
In some ways death could be considered the ultimate comfort zone. Once we die we are safe. Yet we hate death. We’ve created whole systems to avoid it at all cost, and those who embrace it willingly are branded with very dark and negative words. We do not approve of those who would choose death over life, even if their life is one endless struggle against excruciating pain. We’re all in this together and that’s that, no one gets to go home early, use their get out of life card, or play hooky. Not until your time is officially up. And even then, how dare you escape and leave us all behind to deal with this mess!
But what is this life we are so adamant to hold onto all about and why is it so important. I know, everyone has a theory. There are so many of them that I am sometimes surprised that the Earth can keep turning, if it does indeed turn and that isn’t just a theory which was promoted to a fact using that thing called irrefutable proof and has subsequently become a mass illusion.
I love those who are bold enough to speak their mind, especially when their words are infused with passion from the heart and sprinkled with humour of the not taking yourself or your opinions too seriously kind. Because, really, do any of us truly know anything, sometimes we think we do, but is that proof that we are right. And what is right and what is wrong? Hard to tell at times… or ever. Everything is a matter of perspective and opinion.
What makes you think you’re outspoken?
What opinions thrill you with a sense of danger when you voice them?
What are you afraid to say because you might attract unwanted attention and the objections of others? And what pushes you beyond that fear because you can no longer hold your tongue? What pushes you out of your comfort zone of keeping quiet?
And if you are one of those people who is always outspoken, a purveyor of radical thought, is there an opinion which you would never speak about openly because it is a step too far or hits too close to your deepest fear?