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What Will You Stand Up For?

One of my favorite quotes growing up has been “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax. Isn’t that such an easy thought? The doing is where we (myself included) tend to lose interest.


With the amount of discoveries mankind has made in this past century, or even decade, it’s hard to believe that humans still have to fight for what is right. We hear about people from all over the world fighting for things like quality healthcare, safety from their governments, clean water, civil rights, human rights, the list can go on. I don’t think there’s anything someone isn’t fighting for. But who is fighting for these things? At times an entire government is the one fighting for something like affordable healthcare for their people. Other times it is a group of young activists fighting for gun reform. At other times it can be a large organization trying to fight climate change. The point is not the size of what or who is fighting for these issues, it’s the fact that they are all being run by people just like you and I- humans.


Margaret Mead, an American Cultural Anthropologist has famously been quoted for saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


With the overwhelming amount of social media content, world news, and personal stories we get to learn about at the tip of our fingertips, it can be quite intimidating to want to change something that we don’t find right in our lives / society. Or even worse- we think someone else is already fighting for it so we leave it up to them to solve. Growing up we are told that if we see someone else being bullied at school that we must stand up for that kid and defend them, because that is simply the right thing to do. But what happens when we want to stand up for something else? Suddenly things get more complicated! It’s never as simple as “this is bad so stop doing it.” We have to present piles and piles of evidence, we have to create a buzz, we have to get legal help along with more and more proof. Again, standing up to something larger than us can be overwhelming and therefore most of the time we just quietly sit back and hope someone else will take care of it. (And to make ourselves feel better we keep telling ourselves that as long as we have the right idea in our heart then it's all that matters.)


Well, with closing out this year and entering a new one- a new decade at that- I suggest that we all stand up for at least one thing now. Pick something small to start with! Stand up to your neighbor who keeps using the hallways as his own personal phone booth. Then stand up to your coworker who keeps making jokes at your expense.. Follow by standing up to the people and companies who don’t care about your time or your well being. Stand up to groups and governments that seem to think their money is worth more than someone’s health. When one person stands up for something, there will always be someone else that listens. And those two people will then make six people. And those six will make twenty. And hopefully soon enough one of those will make a video about it, allowing hundreds of millions of people capable to hear their message. We all have a voice and we all deserve to use it for what we believe is the right thing to do because the time to say anything is now #timetovivir.

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