There is always one in a crowd.
It’s the one person who is so determined and not afraid to stand up and be seen for what they want or who they are.
Do you remember what it was like to be a tween? Or how about those teenage years? We all walked away from them, and they helped shape who we are as adults. But what do we say to our youth today? I said it in my last post, Stand Out, and I’ll say it again. Today our youth face new challenges then we did at that same age. Although it seems some things don’t ever change like mean girls, bullies, clicks, and acceptance.
I think this quote by Booker T. Washington says it best:
When I was in high school I played basketball. During my senior year, I was the only senior girl on the team. All the other senior girls were cheerleaders or in the band for the most part. I remember what a big deal it was for senior night. At least for me it was. There were many junior and sophmores on the team that out numbered me. As the only senior on the team, I got to pick out the music we’d warm up to before the big game. Back then I listened to a lot of ACDC, Bon Jovi, and Green Day.
I was approached by my fellow team mates and asked if they could pick the music instead of me. No big deal right? But it was. These same team mates had been picking the music all season and now it was my turn. It was the one thing I could control for my one special night as a senior basketball player. Was it wrong for me to stand up and make a choice?
I’m so glad I’m past those years now. Not because of the basketball part, but of the fitting in and making the right choices part.
Although the making the right choices part doesn’t ever leave us. It sticks to our character like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.
A few years ago, there was a car accident a houses up from us on our street. The accident involved an intoxicated neighbor and several other angry neighbors on the street were ganging up around this particular neighbor. All three of my children had their faces pressed to our windows and watched the drama unfold on the sidewalk in front of our home. They had pushed and yelled and ended up in my front lawn.
Did the neighbor do something wrong? Legally, yes. Did the neighbor do it on purpose? The accident part, I’d say no. Did the neighbor need help? Absolutely. But the gang of other angry neighbors were more worried about the accident then the well being of the neighbor at fault. I didn’t care. I walked out into my front yard in stocking feet and asked the neighbor if they were okay. I got the negative feedback and the list of wrongs this neighbor had done.
I didn’t care. What I cared about was that the neighbor was okay. This person was hurt in the incident and yelling, shouting, and pushing the neighbor around wasn’t going to bring back the two smashed cars or bring a solution to the situation. I stood up for that neighbor. I made the angry mob back off until a few moments later the authorities showed up.
Because I chose to stand up that day, I gained the respect of a neighbor.
Standing up takes courage. Sometimes it takes a little, and sometimes it’s like scraping up every ounce of scattered sugar off the counter. Either way, when you stand up for what ever it is you believe in, it helps you walk away with a new slice of character and strength you never realized you had before.
You know what I mean?