Make Room For The Stuttering

Fire or Flame

Posted on: March 8, 2009

A really interesting question caught my eye today in one of the newspapers I read on Sundays. Real ink on real paper -the kind that makes your hands black- not the on-line versions. I savor the pleasure of buying and reading two newspapers from cover to cover on Sundays. The thicker, the better.

So, here’s the question I saw today. It stopped me cold for a few minutes.

“Are you comfortable being in the flame or do you want to be the fire?” It got me thinking about am I a leader or a follower. I concluded that its good to be a little of both. You can’t have flame without fire. Leaders can’t lead without followers.

I am not saying that I am some great leader, but I have had people tell me I have leadership skills. I have also had people say that I am a role model. I think what that means is that I take risks, say what I mean and mean what I say. That is really important to me. I don’t think enough people do that today, and I would venture to say that a lack of integrity is behind many of the problems we are faced with today. A melting economy, a divide between the have and have-nots, discrimination that touches all of the “isms”, and a dismal educational system.

People just don’t honor one of the most basic core values – speak the truth and back it up.

I try to do that every day. I don’t feel I have any choice. I work with young people. Like it or not, they look to me, and most adults, to help them figure out their pathways, their flame or fire.

I have been much more aware of this lately with both my stuttering and my emotions. They are both a part of who I am. I can’t hide them. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Most of the time, its all right. It makes me real to those around me.

Sometimes I want to be the fire that makes change and leaves an impact. Other times I am perfectly content being in the flame. I think every time I am honest with myself and others about how I feel about stuttering, that I am lighting a small fire. One that warms us with the knowledge that we are all unique beings with diverse talents and strengths.

Sometimes I recognize that I am in the flames, getting licked, and that’s ok too. Life is about getting licked by flames and telling someone else about that experience, so they won’t get burned. Passing it on, speaking the truth, meaning it, backing it up. Fire and Flame. Its all good.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.