“Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
This is perhaps my favorite quote from my favorite author. And I won’t apologize for loving
Austen. There is a beauty and wit to her words. (Also, Mr. Darcy. Enough said.)
The absolute best thing about this quote? It is said by the soft-spoken and timid character, Jane Bennett.
She is forever trying to please those around her, yet this is a moment of determination, of
strength, of unflinching certainty.
You will not laugh me out of my opinion. You will not change my mind. You will not sway me.
I admire Jane for her resolve in this moment, because I think it is terribly easy to yield to the
pressures that surround us. Whether it’s from your family or friends or church or even society
in general, we are often told who we should be, what we should do, and how we should think.
We’re inundated with what is expected and what is “normal”, and it can be almost impossible
to defy the standards and break away. It’s not always easy to be different, to be completely
And in those moments, Jane’s words are empowering: You will not laugh me out of my opinion.
You will not laugh me out of my beliefs. You will not laugh me out of my passions. You will not
Because I believe God created each of us with a purpose, something we are meant to do. He gave
us each a dream and the passion to make it happen. There is a burning desire within each of us to
fulfill that dream, to bring it to life, to become exactly what we were created to be.
Yet we are sometimes pulled away from it. Obstacles arise that give us pause. People come into
our lives that throw everything we knew, everything we believed implicitly into question. They
look at our dreams and passion and don’t understand them or us. To them, it seems ridiculous or useless or unnecessary. We begin to rethink and over-think and second-guess. Is this truly what I was meant to do? Or am I merely fooling myself?
And perhaps we try to do something else, something easy and safe. We hear the laughter of those
close to us and give in to it. We become embarrassed of our dream, of what we wanted. We turn
the mirror on ourselves and begin to see our dream as others do – silly, unattainable, impractical.
I don’t believe our dreams and passions are ever truly silenced, however. They linger in our
minds, echoing throughout our entire being. They haunt us, occasionally reminding us of who we
are meant to be. They cannot leave us be. They cannot be laughed away.
We aren’t meant to push our passions into the dark recesses of our mind, fighting to subdue them
as we do what is expected, what is easy, what is comfortable. We are meant to chase after them,
to own them, to let them own us. We should fight for them, for the pleasure they bring us and the
satisfaction they leave behind.
I believe that you deserve to revel in your passions, in the talents God gave especially to you, and
you should never feel embarrassment over what brings you to life. You should never apologize
for being in love with what gives flight to your fancy and lights your soul.
You should never allow anyone to laugh you out of your dream.
Never believe when someone tells you your dreams are a bit too crazy; that you might not make
it in music or acting or writing or photography or whatever it is that owns your heart. Because it
is a part of you, and you should never be made to feel ashamed of what makes your heart happy
and brings you peace and joy.
This is your life and your moment. You deserve to be exactly who you were created to be, who
God intended for you to be. You deserve to do what you love.