The Squeaky Wheel


There is the American adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and to that end sometimes I am a squeaky wheel. I will speak out sometimes if something seems unright or unfair. I do really care about fairness, knowledge, equality, and justice and will try to defend them when I think they are under attack. There are some scenarios where I speak out more than others, at work I am pretty outspoken, at home with Sneha I am pretty outspoken, but in other scenarios I am less outspoken perhaps with strangers. I think that is just how I was raised and what I was taught. I do have some friends who are really outspoken, I assume that they will say their mind all of the time, to who ever they talk to. They are the squeakiest of wheels.

There is some additional adage that I heard and found it interesting, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease but it is also the first one to be replaced”. And this additional wisdom does also make sense, I think if you are constantly pushing and complaining that you stick out. Similar to the phrase ‘the tall flower is the first to be cut’ if you stand out too much in a more conformist society you can be outcast. I try not to be an outcast, that is not my personality, and so I definitely dont stick out too much.

I think trying to find a good balance for yourself is interesting and it depends a lot on what kind of society you live in. In Japan you probably can’t stand out too much, in American you can stand out much more. Among my tight group of friends I can stand out, say more blunt things, but among a train car full of stranger I am going to be reserved. I guess my philosophy is to determine my squeakiness depending on the context.