Since I spend a huge amount of my time speaking, listening and interacting with the Canadian military family community (more than any sane person not employed to do so really should), I hear their voices.
I hear anger and complaints, hurts and frustrations.
Sometimes they’re worded well. Sometimes they come out like a snarl. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to see what’s really wrong.
There are so many great ideas. So many smart people with amazing stories and struggles and insight into improvement.
Sadly, most of them won’t be heard.
Friends in the military community…. we need to use our voice.
And not just in the “bitching about everything” way because, while that’s cathartic and every likes to scream at a brick wall now and again, it’s not really getting us anywhere.
We need to use our voice to make for change.
1. Sometimes we let our anger overpower our reason.
Sometimes, we let anger fight the wrong battles.
All of a sudden, we are tired of speaking up because we used all our energy fighting Christmas lights in November, or boycotting Target.
Pick something you truely believe needs change, something you want to use your valuable time on, and leave the rest behind.
We need our non-military community to have our back, not be terrified they might wear their poppy wrong.
2. Sometimes, we only want to BE heard.
3. We refuse to be part of the solution.
Real complaints, the ones that are heard, come with suggestions.
And not “I think everyone should have access to 100% free childcare 24 hours a day, and also get our lawns mowed (no euphemism intended) every week during a spouse’s absence.”
Real, actual, workable suggestions. Maybe even bullet points. If you really want the military to listen, Powerpoint.
4. We go to the wrong place.
5. We give up.
6. We are too busy tearing each other down.
So what CAN we do?
Well, we can start by taking a deep breath, coming up with workable suggestions, finding the right outlet to listen and approaching it as a group.
Think of the things our community accomplishes every day. Someone out there this month is giving birth while their spouse is deployed. Someone is at the hospital with their child while another runs circles in the waiting room. Someone is graduating college without their partner cheering them on. Someone is taking their kids to the new school in the town they just moved to. Someone is killing it at work and then going home to handle it all there, too. Someone is on the job hunt, someone is supporting a friend, someone is just drinking a glass of wine and thanking baby Jesus for another day down.
Imagine what we can accomplish if we use our voice then to facilitate change. To speak up and keep speaking up.
We can make a difference, friends, if we use our voice together.