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#JeSuisCharlie – Really?

charlie-hebdoAre you “really” Charlie?

When was the last time you spoke your truth, even though the people around you might not agree?

When was the last time you wrote your truth, even though others might push back or ridicule you?

When was the last time you acted on what you believed was right and in the highest and best interest of all concerned, even though others would want to sanction you or stop you for doing so?

It is easy to join the crowd and exclaim #JeSuisCharlie. However I see too many people doing so, while staying safe… saying, writing or doing things just to curry the favor of the boss, the client, the peers, the crowd… even though deep down they believe something different.

Heck, I’m more than guilty of that. On more than one occasion, my gut told me that something is wrong or is not in the highest and best interests of the stakeholders. I needed to speak up, but I didn’t, because I was afraid that others might not agree with me, or I could lose face, or I could be sanctioned.

Too often, when this happens and I don’t speak up, I end up in regret. Regrets about the outcome of the project, regrets about how it affects the people, regrets about how it affects me.

If you really want to honor the twelve victims whose speech was stolen, you must be willing to speak, write and act on your truth, no matter what the consequences. That takes courage. To quote Bill Maher: “It takes balls the size of the Eiffel Tower”.

To proclaim #JeSuisCharlie is a bold personal commitment: to live your mission, your vision, your values, your principles, your truth. About things little or big. No matter what anyone else may try to do to stop you. No compromises. No surrender.

To me, that’s the real meaning of #JeSuisCharlie.

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Originally published on my LinkedIn profile:

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