The 10 Reasons I Choose to Talk About Topics Society’s Afraid Of

Sometimes I wonder how I talk about topics that society’s refrains from discussing because of fear. Most days, I witness situations that people never want to consider. To society, the issues of my major, my internships, and my work are taboo. They are the harsh reality of our society that most of us choose to keep silent, but I don’t. 

I’ll wait in hospital lobbies for minutes, sometimes even hours. I’ll wait there as I see people ponder on their health or a loved one’s health. Just last night, I waited in the hospital lobby watching a woman silently cry to herself. She seemed to be a patient with her white hospital band tied around her waist. A patient like many others in the lobby that night that was scared and needed help. After I saw that, I went straight into the hospital to work for my internship and advocate for the rights survivors of sexual assault. 

I know the outcome people will experience when they ask me, what is my job or internship. I know that if I tell them, they’ll quickly find ways to excuse themselves. No one wants to talk about these topics. It is often because these topics are hard to come with terms to, they break people’s hearts. But because I chose to discuss these topics, doesn’t mean they don’t break my heart too. Just because I am willing to talk about problems no one wants to talk about them, doesn’t mean that they don’t scare me. I just don’t let my fear hinder me from doing something about it. Here are the ten reasons why I choose to talk about topics society’s afraid of-- topics that are taboo:

01. I WANT TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

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I don’t let my issues stop me from wanting to help my community succeed. Instead, I choose to do something about these problems because I want to be part of the solution, not the problem. Ever since I was young, I loved volunteering. My first experience was at a nursing home because I needed to get hours done for my school. It was something that I had to do but soon turned into something I wanted to do because I realized that I enjoyed being there for people. I liked to use my skills to ensure the best outcome for others. Therefore, I knew, once I had hit my final years in high school, that I wanted to be a social worker. I knew I wanted to do something with the fortunate opportunity that life gave me. I understood that everyone has a calling, and I decided mine would be to help others. I don’t want to be someone on the sidelines, watching the news and recognizing that our society has problems, but choosing to ignore them. No, I want to be a player and work as a part of a community that strives for positive solutions.

02. I BELIEVE THE MORE WE TALK ABOUT TOPICS THAT SCARE US, THE LESS UNCOMFORTABLE THEY’LL BE

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I fully understand that talking about taboo topics isn’t the ideal for some. I have witnessed people quickly dive out of a conversation with me when I say that I work for a sexual assault agency. It seems like as soon as something gets hard and emotional, people don’t want to deal with it. But I am not one like that. I choose to talk about these topics because I want to end the stigma that surrounds them. I believe that one way to fix a problem is education and discussion. But if we’re so afraid of the debate on topics that make us uncomfortable, we will never find a way to end our society’s epidemics. Rather than being apprehensive about discussing these topics, I believe that focusing less on our situation and start with brief discussions will ultimately make a lasting impact on the world of change.

03. I CHOOSE FAITH OVER FEAR

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Life is full of risks, no matter how intense. We are continually putting ourselves in danger even by stepping outside our door. We don’t know what’s going to happen once we close our house door and walk into our community. We can’t control life, but we should not resort to fear because of it. If we live in fear our whole lives, we’ll never experience any of life's most significant rewards. I choose to have confidence in my capabilities to participate in creating solutions, then being stuck in my insecurities. I know that there is not only a personal reward for being able to communicate about hard topics, but there’s also a reward for our community. I would rather risk my stability for some hours to help others, then be frozen for hours as I focus only on my fears. 

04. THE GREATER GOOD IS MY PRIORITY

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I chose to focus on the greater good for the masses then be stuck in my head. Ever since I was young, I lived my life while being conscious of others. I have always taken other people’s feelings into account because I had already figured out that I wasn’t the only one in the world that mattered. I decided that I wanted to enforce that idea into my daily life so I could become someone that practiced what they preached. By doing that, I was able to create outcomes that don’t just benefit me, but also a more significant group of people.

05. I KNOW I HAVE THE STRENGTH TO BE VULNERABLE

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Being vulnerable is hard to master, let alone practice doing. No one wants to put themselves into a situation that exposes them to the possibility of being attacked, especially when that harm involves one’s emotional wellbeing. Being emotional is hard for people because we have practiced our whole lives the art of not caring. We are continually avoiding our emotions simply because feelings are toxic. I am guilty of being like most of society by choosing to ignore my feelings, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t come face to face with them. I have faith in myself that I am stable enough in my well-being that being vulnerable won’t have a harming effect. And by working and studying what I do, I can have my faith become a reality.

06. NO ONE SHOULD FEEL ALONE

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There are 7.53 billion people in the world, but why do we find ourselves feeling like we’re all on our own? My work within the job and internship I do gives me the opportunity to be there for people when they need it most. I can take time out of my day to make sure that people know they’re not alone in their fight with life. I have been one to be scared of being alone because the feeling of loneliness has such an impact on me. Because of my first-hand encounter, I have chosen to make myself available for people not to feel that. I want to be there for people in their best and their worst, helping them get to a spot where they know it’s not them versus the world, and instead, believe that we are a community that is willing to help. 

07. I QUESTION IF I DON’T, WHO WILL

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I have been told, “we need more of those” more times than I can count whenever I mention that I want to pursue a career in social work. I completely agree. There are not too many people willing to even discuss these topics, so how could I expect people to be willing to engage with these topics. I can’t, and so I have taken responsibility for myself. I want to be the one that makes a difference in the world because I know that if I want to see something change, I need to do it myself.

08. I WANT TO CREATE CHANGE

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No change will occur if we keep filtering out issues that make us comfortable from our list of possible discussion topics. When I was younger, I would sit there with my parents watching the news. I heard the headlines discuss the horrors of our world. We all know that the news barely holds content that can uplift our day. As I grew up, I decided I would be a part of working for change. I didn’t want the news to consistently tell me about how the world suffers when it could say to us how the work that is happening is helping end the suffering. And who do I want to be doing that inspiring work? Me, I want to participate in actions that have an impact. 

09. I SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND TO BE UNDERSTOOD

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Most people are guilty of seeking first to be understood. They want to assert their point across, but they are often blind to the effect that can have. By declaring your position, you risk ignoring the other people and turning a cheek to their experience as a human. I don’t want to be like that. I want to listen to people, hear their pain and come to a point where I understand what the other is experiencing and trying to communicate. I have realized that there is a benefit by doing this, people are more willing to listen to me and be ready to participate in an open dialogue. If we stopped focusing on just our needs and instead find ways to balance the needs of others and ourselves, welcomes a door of acceptance as a possible outcome.

10. I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO WHAT LIFE GAVE TO ME

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I have not always been fortunate enough to live a life of stability and wellness. When I reached the age of twelve, I had been to my first therapist. Now I am twenty-one and have been to more therapist that I can count on one hand. I wasn’t always thriving and living my life with contentment. Instead, I was drowning in my sorrows. But I was given an opportunity to learn how to live. And although that didn’t come from a discussion on my daily struggles inside a room that played white noise, and instead came from practicing the art of living, I want to make sure that others are aware they can have the same chance I had. I want to give back to what life gave to me. So whenever there is a chance to save a person’s life, or even help someone get through their day, I’m going to take it, thankful that I have had those people in my life.