Raise Your Effing Hand

11 comments | December 8th, 2012

This was submitted anonymously, as a comment to another reader's story about "Playing It Much Too Safe".  Here's how we got it:

I won't lie, this quote is a little harsh; but goddamnit, it's true. It's by an author named Christopher Gutierrez. He's amazing.

"you know that feeling when you're in class and you want to raise your hand to disagree, to add to the discussion? that nervous energy that prevents you from raising your hand and hearing your own voice? the one that makes your heart race? that nervous energy wins when you keep your hand safely on your desk and miss the opportunity to add your two cents.
thats what failure feels like.
thats the feeling of you giving up a little more of your life.
thats when you throw away your votes.
and unless you want to take your place in the list of billions of fakes, sheep and ****, the next time you have something to say, raise your f*cking hand."
{end story}

Doesn't matter how long it's been since you've been in class, or a meeting, or at a dinner with family and friends, or riding on a bus and seeing someone do or not do something that should have…can you relate (we sure can)?  Share it.  Raise your hand and voice here and now.  You'll feel better.  


  • Khauri

    Posted on February 14, 2012

  • Mollie

    Posted on February 14, 2012

    This is so great. You have to be part of the process or you have no right to complain!

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  • Maria

    Posted on February 16, 2012

    I keep hearing that Taio Cruz song “throw your hands in the aey-er (trying to phonetically spell the way he pronounces “air”. Did it work?)

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  • liz

    Posted on March 7, 2012

    Yes, by all means, raising your effing hand, make your voice heard, and most importantly HAVE an opinion. BUT (there’s always a “but” isn’t there?) by simply taking a moment to raise that hand slowly and put some thought and logic into what is about to come out of your mouth will reduce the anxiety substantially and give your argument, statement, complaint, whatever, something to stand on.

    I have never had a problem raising my hand. Hell, I usually skip that part and just shout what ever is going on in my head at the time. I was raised that way: by a single mother who’s self-proclaimed philosophy on life is “ready, shoot, aim.” She used to say “I’m not always right, but I’m sure.” It has taken me years to learn how to 1) listen to what the question actually is 2) frame a coherent response 3) actually say something that matters.

    I now teach mostly women at the university level. I see all types from the shiest to the most brash; most are bright, talented, and intelligent women. I see *me* once-upon-a-time in some of those girl’s eyes (and voices), but I still *hear* the ones who take the time to think before they speak; the one’s who don’t speak until class is almost over. And I learn the value in that approach every day.

    Remember, the key here is *what* you say, so much more than when you say it. We are inundated with talkshows, politicians, bloggers, tv programs, radio “personalities” et al… that constantly talk shit about you, themselves, life in general and they say it RIGHT NOW, like life is all about this second and this second only. The *art* of framing an argument is becoming a precious commodity in today’s market. SPEAK; by all means make your voice heard. Just have something to say.

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  • Bonnie

    Posted on August 2, 2012

    In the words of an old commercial “thanks, I needed that.”

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  • Babycakes

    Posted on August 8, 2012

    Hmmm…I mostly agree. But I’ve just done two years of city college, and my exhaustive research carried out during this time shows that the people who raise their hands the most frequently usually have the least relevant, least thought out comments to make. In fact, there were some classes where I just wanted to staple their hands to the desks and then staple their mouths shut. I’m not always right when I raise my hand, and I don’t think everyone should be or feel that they should be. But I do think there is a certain value in actually considering what you’re going to say and whether it will actually advance the discussion, as opposed to merely allowing you (and evvvvveryone else) hear the dulcet tones of your own voice.

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