Tag Archives: courage

Stand

Stand up and be counted.  Stand for the weak.  Stand hand in hand with her in public.  Stand still in the dark until your eyes adjust. Stand when you hear the National Anthem.  Set your moral compass and stand fast in the right direction.  Stand up and be counted.  Don’t get caught without a leg to stand on.  Ask others to stand with you.  When your opponent falls, stand down.  Stand for what is right and ask others to stand with you.  In a world plagued with conformity, stand out.  Teach them to stand on their own two feet.  Stand on your tip-toes to get a better view.  When fear strikes, stand fast.  When being measured, stand tall.  Stand on the edge and look down.  Stand up in a boat.  When they say you can’t do it, dig your heels in and stand firm.  Stand side by side and feel your strength.  Don’t stand in her way.  When everyone else is gone, have the courage to stand alone.

Superman stood for truth, justice and the American way.  The Ironed Jawed Angels of 1918 stood up for the rights of women in America.  Ben Cohen stands up against bullying.  Gandhi stood for civil rights and freedom for all citizens of the world. The Stand; we’ve all taken it for one reason or another, and regardless of our motivation, we all stand for something at some time.

All too often, we wander through our days without giving notice to the many stands we take.  Whether we are defending others, promoting a cause, proving a point or showing our strength; we all stand.  I’ve seen it in action, been witness to the results, and even participated.  I’ve felt the fear, the power, the joy, and the helplessness that taking a stand can create; and still I stand.

It’s important for me, living in a world where the actions of others, whether reckless or calculated, directly impact my life and possibly the lives of others, that I continue to stand, both for myself and for those who can’t.  I’m not a hero or a savior, I don’t have endless wisdom or insurmountable strength, and I don’t want power or fame.  I’m just an ordinary person looking for other ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things.

It doesn’t take much to make good things happen; all you have to do is stand.


Speak

 “When you have something to say, SAY IT.  Speak your mind and let your voice quiver and shake if it must.  Speak what’s in your heart and if you cry, so be it!  When something is sitting on the tip of your tongue, let it out.  Speak the truth that must be spoken — even if some will rail and flail against it.  Have the courage to speak up.  In whatever way you can, help others to have the courage, too.  When it’s impossible for others to speak on their own, speak on their behalf.  Speak up for the animals, for the children, for the weak, for the sick.  Remember to speak for as often as you speak against.  Speak from a place deep inside, a place that knows what must be spoken.  Keep speaking the truth and know that eventually, somehow, somewhere, someone will listen.”  ~ Rachel Snyder

“Ms. West, I wouldn’t mind being in your class again next year.  I like how you always keepin’ it real. You just say what you feel. I like that.”  ~Spoken by one of my junior English students after I finished delivering a very direct response to a question I had been asked no fewer than eight times in one class period.

My kids know me.  They learned quickly that I would deliver my lessons, my criticisms, my praise and my support in the most honest manner possible.  They need it; secretly, I think they crave it.  I blast them daily for their verbal abuse of others, their laziness, their lack of accountability; and I smother them with accolades when they do the right thing.  They don’t always like what I have to say, but they remember it; they use it, they learn from it.

It is my belief that if more people would just say what they really want to say, there would be fewer misunderstanding.  Just be honest, even if it’s going to hurt.  Be direct and stop sugar-coating your voice.  It isn’t always easy being the one who says what everyone else is thinking, but sometimes it is necessary.  If you don’t allow yourself to speak your mind freely, how do you expect anyone else to?