In reply to a comment on my last post, I mentioned that sometimes I "rein in" what I say or write about controversial topics. Those who know me well might be quick to point out that I haven't mastered the skill of self-censoring, but they're basing that opinion only on what they've heard me say. They have no idea how much I've held back.
Anyway, it occurred to me as I wrote that reply that I've been struggling my whole life to decide when to speak out and when to hold my tongue. The last time I acknowledged that inner conflict may have been in a brief conversation with my grandmother when I was about ten years old:
Mammaw: "Linnie, why don't you sweep the porch?"
Me (remaining seated on the couch, comic book in hand): "If you want me to sweep the porch, just tell me to do it. You're the grown-up and I'm the kid, so I have to do what you say. But if you want to know why I don't sweep the porch, I can tell you."
After that, as I recall, I immediately jumped up and moved out the front door--out of range--where I swept the porch as if my life depended on it. Mammaw never asked my reasons for not wanting to sweep it, and I never again volunteered to explain them.