Yesterday while clearing out some old papers, I found this note. I'm just guessing, but it looks like Allison must have been around six or seven when she wrote this. Probably I was out at an evening meeting and came home to find this message preparing me for an important conversation.
I wish I could remember now what the conversation was about, but I can't. Still, I like the note. It was obviously written with great care -- lots of erasures to make it just right. And it was serious and confident: something needed talking about, and she was going to make sure that significant conversation happened.
I admire that. Sometimes I don't say what needs saying -- maybe because I'm afraid of what the response will be, or because I'm preoccupied with other seemingly more urgent things, or because I don't want to give in, or because I don't want to seem (depending on the situation) "too serious" or "too weak" or "too whatever." This note reminds me to be more intentional about speaking the right word at the right moment, and to trust both myself and the person I want to speak to.
I hope Allison also retains that confidence that she had eight or nine years ago -- the confidence to speak up when she has something to say, whether to me or anyone else. Because we all need to be heard. To quote Winston Churchill:
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."