By Miriam Merrill
In the self-centered world in which we live it is easy to forget that when we raise our voice with others amazing things can happen. We will often see posts on social media offering similar political opinions and we automatically assume that this opinion must be the majority. In reality, these opinions are the minority, and the majority opinion just is not shared as openly. Why does it seem that the majority is always silent?
I cannot express how often I scroll through Facebook and deduce that I must be the only one the whole world that feels the way I do about families and children. The reality is that the majority of Americans find abortion to be morally wrong, 87% of adults feel starting a family and having children is a priority, and the divorce rate is actually the lowest it has been in decades. However, who would guess these realities based solely off a scroll through social media or a glance at the newspaper headlines?
A popular psychology experiment found that the vast majority of people would rather conform by offering an opinion that they do not actually believe than to stand alone and voice their actual opinion. People would literally rather try to convince themselves that a falsehood is true than have an unpopular belief. Given this information we are doing our children, friends, and family a great disservice when we fail to speak up about the issues that are important to us. If we are afraid to be different, can we expect our children to stand up for virtues and a moral right? When we are brave enough to speak up, others will follow and we can make a difference in the world.
I very recently saw two powerful examples of what can happen when we bravely stand up for what we know to be true. A new children’s film “Show Dogs” was only in theaters a few days when it started receiving major backlash for multiple scenes that “promoted an inappropriate and harmful message about sexual abuse.” I personally saw several posts on social media from friends challenging others to not support the film. So many spoke out about the inappropriateness of this children’s film, including The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, that the studio announced it was going to pull the film from theaters and edit it before they re-released it. I wouldn’t have previously thought that so many people prioritize appropriate content for their children, but I am glad that the silent majority spoke up.
Just in the last month the popular Snapchat app added an x-rated channel filled with sexually-explicit videos, advice, and content. This new channel only lasted a day before parents and child advocacy groups raised enough concern that Snapchat announced they would be deleting the channel. I was under the impression that the majority of people believed morality was relative and therefore would not care about this feature, and would even support the endeavor. I am so glad the silent majority stood up.
So many times I have heard statements like “I would vote, but there really is no point. My vote doesn’t make a difference” or “I wish there was something we could do, but there just isn’t.” These beliefs are dangerous! If we want to advocate for families and children, the first thing we need to do is abandon these falsehoods. The two aforementioned stories are proof that we, as consumers, can demand a better world for our families and children. But when we fail to speak up we forfeit our ability to make a difference. Let us commit to standing up and speaking out. Let us give a voice to the silent majority.