Shannon Kalahan • Art As A Voice

In today’s culture of harsh criticisms and an online mob mentality, speaking up about significant issues can be a daunting task. Shannon Kalahan shares her advice on how to best communicate with your audience

When I was a child I used to wonder about my parents’ preoccupation with taxes and politics. I remember hearing them talk and not understanding the nuances of most of the things they were discussing. It was all Greek to me.

Time passed, but my interest in ‘adult conversation’ didn’t evolve. In fact, as a teenager, I was downright dismissive of it. “That stuff is for old people. It’s so boring!”

I can’t remember the exact moment that I began to carry the weight of adult concerns. Like most changes, it happened in stages, sneaking up on me until one day I found myself angry that the newest tax reform had taken away a credit I had come to expect. As I was texting my friends, explaining how frustrating it was that the current political climate was making things difficult for the middle-class, I realized that somehow I had grown up. Somewhere along the line I had begun caring about taxes and politics because they were no longer a vague concept floating in the ether. They directly affected me.

The changes didn’t stop there. My late 20s and early 30s brought challenges that I eventually learned to see as opportunities for growth. As an adult I found a confidence that had been fleeting in my teenage years. I finally had enough life experience to ...

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