Have you watched the show What Would You Do? I really like it, but it also sort of scares me because it forces me to think about what I would do in the situations laid out. Would I speak up or shrink away hoping to not be noticed? I'm ashamed to admit, even to myself, that I don't think I'd be brave enough to speak up in most of the situations. And I feel like that makes me a bad human. Then yesterday on the bus I got the chance to test out that theory on a very small scale.
As usual I had my headphones in listening to a podcast, but even over the talking in my ear I could tell there was a commotion on the bus. The people around me were making faces at each other in general astonishment and disgust. So, because I'm curious and nosy I paused my podcast to find out what was happening. A couple rows ahead of me there was a man preaching about Jesus - he sounded like he was on a break from his place in a park screaming out over people's heads as they pass by, I walked by plenty of those people in Portland but really don't see them much here in Tri-Cities. He was being fairly loud and definitely annoying but I almost started my podcast again until I heard him start bashing on Mormons using all sorts of bad language in the process.
Now, I know that I no longer attend church or align myself with the religion but I have a lot of respect for it and have always been glad I was raised the way I was. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs but they should not be offensive about it so it was at that point that I decided to raise my voice to try to make it stop. I didn't say much, something along the lines of You should be careful with what you say, you might be offending someone. You're offending me. You should stop. After saying my piece other people spoke up also asking him to be quiet and to watch his language but if anything he got louder until the bus driver told him he needed to be quiet or he'd be kicked off the bus.
I know I didn't say much but even so my heart was pounding afterwards. I was glad I'd spoken up, and it gives me hope that should I be put in an even more difficult position in the future I'd have the courage to act out then as well.