While driving today, I overtook a man with a little girl for a passenger. I assumed it what his daughter. And then wondered if she was. The reason this is noteworthy? He was texting while driving. The little girl was not buckled and had her head out the rolled down window. I was angry and shocked at the same time. How could he be so irresponsible? In my incredulity I wondered if it would be right for me to call him out on it.

Part of me regrets not calling the driver out…

I thought he was irresponsible and selfish. Then I thought, “What right do I have to call this man out on being an irresponsible parent?” I’m not a parent. Maybe his (supposed) daughter was being difficult and unbuckled herself

After a debate with myself, I concluded that one doesn’t have to be a parent to speak into some parenting issues. If an adult puts even their own child at risk, I should speak out. They may not like it but it could save their child. No experienced needed for calling out some things.

This should apply to other areas of life. You don’t have to be an accomplished leader to call out lacking morals in leadership. One doesn’t have to have held public office to hold elected officials accountable. I don’t have to be an economist to express displeasure at economic policies. You have every right to say you aren’t happy about the quality of care at public institutions.

There’s a false narrative we sometimes subject ourselves to. It’s also one we should never allow anyone to impose on us. Sometimes as a snarly retort, “What gives you the right to..?” Our answer can be simple: being human. Being a decent human being and wanting better for others and our world. That’s all the qualification you need to speak out sometimes. Now experience needed when it comes to wanting and creating a better world. A progressing society. You don’t have to be mean about it. But for goodness’ sake speak out.

As I finish writing this I’m still struggling to shake off regret. I should’ve told that dad to stop texting, close the backseat window and buckle his daughter in.

For goodness’ sake, speak up.

image: jdhancock | cc

Published by Blessing Mpofu

just a guy changing the world

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