Dreaming is one of the most enjoyable pastimes one can have but many dreams never come to fruition and the reason for that is what I call the “what if” card.
Even as children, we can pull the what if card. A child can say things like “What if I fail?”, “What if I do not make the team?”, “What if she turns me down?”, “What if I do not like it?” and I could go on and on with the what if’s. I personally believe until we can answer those what if questions in a fairly reasonable way, we will hold on to that card and never step out and try to go for our dreams.
Ok, “What if I fail?”. Well, if you fail, you get up and try again and again. If it just will not work, you change to something close to what your dream was. “What if you do not make the team?” Truth of the matter is not everyone that goes out for a team makes it and we have to accept the loss and learn to deal with it. “What if he or she turns me down?” Well, then you know to ask someone else. Life is about learning to deal with the good things as well as the painful things. “What if I do not like it?” Well, now you know. You will never know if you do not try.
image from orientalspiceandsomechocolate.com
As adults we tent to focus more on the financial when it comes to following dreams. “What if we go for it and we can not reach our goal?” Well, then you keep working for the goal. “What if we lose everything?” They are just things and can be replaced. “What if those around me get mad if I go for my dream?” They can get glad in the same pants they got mad in. And I am talking circular family not the immediate..person and their partner.
Working towards your dreams comes down to one basic thing. How much are you willing to give up to have your dream? We were lucky in that son and I both had the same type of dream..to simplify life, to move to the mountains and to live with less stress. What if we lost everything? Truth be known, we lost a lot of money selling the house on the other side of the mountain due to the economy, but were fortunate in that we had just enough to get this little house we live in and we love it. The important thing was that we did not let things keep us from dreaming. Anything we had could be replaced at some date but our dream never could be.
As you go through life and think about things you want to do, think about your dreams or that bucket list and ask yourselves how many times do you pull the “What if” card? And if you find you are doing it a lot, sit down and write those “what if” questions down and then start answering them. Life is not a dress rehearsal and we do not get a second chance. Do not let the “what if” card keep you back from having your dream(s) come true. Do not let the “what if” card keep you from doing things.
Life is so hard and we make so many twists and turns and have to make so many decisions that sometimes we wonder if we are doing the right thing. I lay here last night thinking about that for had a friend tell me that they were doing something to help someone but were miserable and cried almost every day about doing it. And so these are “older than dirt wisdom” things that I learned along the way. These do not make me right but might help someone as the plod along the rough journey called life. The greatest thing I learned was that I do not solve my problems by using methods that are not working.
image from www.talesofordinarymagic.com
1. About Dying
Only our Creator knows when we will die. We will not die a day sooner or a day later, so leave the dying to the Creator , to our God and focus on living. Dying will inevitable happen to us all and the day is not known so worrying about it will not help us. Focusing on loving life and enjoying it.
2. Making Decisions
Making decisions requires five things. It requires you to listen to God, to your head, to your heart, to your head again and finally listening to God again. Our hearts are wonderful things but sometimes they make us make decisions based on guilt, pity or some other emotion and then we find that we are miserable because the decision was not the right one. Never make major decisions when you are stressed, when you feel rushed, when you are sick or exhausted, when you are in a panic, etc. Take the time to think about, discuss with others close to you, etc before making the decisions.
3. Listen to hear what the other is saying, not to reply.
I love this expression for it is so true. We were created with TWO ears and ONE mouth. I believe the intent was for us to listen twice as much as we talk. And because we only have one mouth, make what goes in and comes out be extremely gentle and easily digested.
Sometimes we listen and while we are listening, we are really just thinking of our reply and do not really hear what is being said. This is how disagreements and many misunderstandings happen. If we do not really listen with not only our ears but our hearts, then we miss so much and could lose things in our lives.
When you are listening and you are tempted to come back with “some solution” or some “comparison” to you or aunt so and so, or advice on how the other person needs to feel, remember most people just want to be heard not fixed. Ask yourself before you start to reply to them “Does this even need to be said?”, “Does it need to be said right NOW?” and “Does it really need to be said by me?” Sometimes the answer to all of those is no.
4. Standing up for what is right
It is so easy to be passive and ignore the tragedies and wrong doings going on daily. We can not change the world but we can change what is in our corner of the world, one piece at a time….starting with ourselves. It is amazing how good it feels to stand up for what is right instead of going along with the crowd. If we are complacent we are complicit. If we allow bullying or mistreatment, then we are part of the bullying and mistreatment. Standing up for what is right also means standing up for yourself.
Never rely on someone else to be your heroic defender. If you learn to defend yourself and what you do, it gives you power. If you depend on someone else to defend you, they can let you down and destroy your self-esteem because you wonder why they did not stand up for you. Self Reliance is a great attribute to have.
5. Distance makes for clarity
Sometimes we can be so close to something that we can not see the reality. Stepping away for a while gives us that 20/20 vision we need to make smart decisions. Getting some distance also helps us to keep from “reacting” instead of “acting”. Once we step away and allow our minds to breathe a little, the situation may not seem like it was when we were right close to it.
Friends are a wonderful thing. Keep in mind 345 “friends” on Facebook does not make them friends. They are acquaintances. If you come through life with only ONE close friend, you have come through life with something very precious that will last you your whole life. Cherish your friends, love them and accept them as who they are just as you want them to accept you for who you are.
Never let a day go by without telling those you love that you love them. Actions speak louder than words, but they still love to hear the words too. You can tell someone all day and every day that you love them but if your actions do not show that, then they are hollow words. We should love someone “in spite of” how they are not “because of” how they are. That way we love them in spite of any faults they have and do not have this illusion that they will change or that we can change them.
Never let the sun set on your anger. Each day that you allow anger to continue, it becomes easier to stay angry and never heal the gap. If a person matters, sometimes you need to be the one that swallows the pride and says “let’s talk about this”.
“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”~~Benjamin Franklin
9. We are not indispensable
In life here on earth, everyone can be replaced. No one is indispensable. Someone can always do the job we were doing. Never think you must stay where you are because something might fall apart without you. It will not. Life will go on. When we think we are indispensable such as in a job, then it puts greater stress on us because we stay even when being misused, abused, overworked, etc. because we think that things will fall apart if we leave.
10. Communicating with Others
We all speak from our own “place” and we all use different words with our own definition. What means one thing to someone might mean something entirely different to another. Always ask “What do you mean by?” before getting upset for it saves many arguments. And do not react until you are sure you know what the other person is REALLY saying. It is up to us to make sure we have heard correctly and to make sure that we say our words carefully. Never speak out when you are angry for you will say many things you will regret and then you can never erase the damage done.
11. It is OK to Say NO when you do not want to do something.
It really is OK to say “No, I can not”. .. “No, I do not want to” when it is things we do not want to do but find ourselves saying yes out of guilt or fear of being rejected. When we say yes when our hearts say no, we get caught up in doing things we really do not want to do and resent it and get mad at ourselves.
I remember too many times agreeing to do something that I absolutely loathed and then wanting to kick myself afterwards. Those that love you will still love you if you say no. They might get mad for a little bit, but they will get over it. Do not say yes out of guilt or fear. You will hate yourself afterwards. And the more you learn to say no when you do not want to do something, the more you will find you have time to do the things you really love, with those you love.
And never make excuses for saying no because someone will find a “solution” for your excuse. For example “Oh, I can not as I have no babysitter”. Then they will tell you that so and so can babysit so you can do it. Just simply say “No, I can not do it” or just “No.”
12. Take Life in Bites
I read once that the first bite of food, no matter the item, is the best taste. Each bite after dims in great flavor as your taste buds get used to is. I love going to buffet’s and I take one small spoonful of each thing and sit and savor the flavors. My plate looks like a sampler. So sample life one bite at a time. Too much of something dulls the excitement and flavor. Remember the days of youth. How exciting things were. Rekindle that as a child. We do not have to have everything but we can feel like we do by enjoying what we have.
13. Laugh often
Laughter is a great healer and helps you to get rid of stress. I have laughed til I cried even in the midst of really hard times. We do not have to be all serious or sad or down and never laugh just because something bad happened. When life gets tough, look for things to smile about. Happiness is a state of mind inside of us. It is a choice we make. Wake up every morning choosing to be happy.
14. Never Defend Something Blindly
Believe and have faith in what you believe in but always make sure you are defending it with facts and not just emotion. When you defend something, ask yourself “why?” and the reasons should be more than “It is wonderful” or “It is great”. You should be able to know and explain valid reasons. Otherwise we become like the groupies who follow this or that star all over the globe but can not really give you a good reason why.
No person or thing is ever ALL good. When we try to place people as perfect beings , have this visual of them as some perfect human that never does anything wrong and we refuse to admit when they make mistakes…which they will because they are human…then we have distorted what the person is and distorted our judgments of them. This happens often in the political realm and in the star realm. Being able to say that you did not like something done by someone you admire is not saying they are bad or no good. It is just admitting a truth and helps you to see them in a more human light. It does not necessarily mean they are not good to be in office or on the screen or in a job position. It just means they did something you did not like.
15. Do not depend on others for Happiness or Validation
Our happiness should never be dependent on things, people, places, money, etc for those things can disappear. Happiness comes from inside us and is a choice. Never should we let someone or something be the only thing that validates us or tells us we are worthy. When we think that only certain people can make us “worthy, we set ourselves up for failure for they are only human. Learn to validate yourself. You know when you have done a good job or when you have done something worthy. Be proud of that and validate from within that what you did is good. The first person that should be proud of you is YOU. When we allow humans to validate us, they can also make us feel worthless if they so desire. It is giving them power over us.
16. Treat Each Day Like It Is Your Last
Every day is a gift. Treat each day like it is your last and see the wonder and awe in each one. Live each day as if you were dying and make sure and tell your loved ones that you love them daily, make sure to keep disputes settled, make sure to do things you really love to do and not leave things undone.
17. Let Your Conscience Guide You
Our conscience tells us when we are doing something we should not be doing. If we are feeling uncomfortable, unhappy, angry, etc with what we are doing….it is time to step away from it and figure out why. The more that we override our conscience, the more our consciences become deadened to what is right and what is wrong. When you feel that feeling inside your head and heart, then it is time to stop and take assessment and do what is right.
18. Three Things You Can Never Get Back: Time, words and opportunity
Three things that can destroy a person: anger, pride and an unforgiving heart.
Three things that are the most important in life: Love, family/friends and kindness
19. Self Worth
Whatever value you place on yourself…others will too. We teach people how to treat us by what we allow them to do to us. If we allow others to treat us as if we are worthless, then they assume it is ok to do so. If we allow others to abuse us, then they think it is ok to do so. If we allow others to cheat on us, then they think it is ok to do so. We set the bar. You are a person of value but people will only treat us by how we let them treat us.
20. Your Thoughts
Be careful with what you think. For your thoughts can go on to become your words and slip out of your mouth. And your words can turn into actions. What we think, we can become. If you think you can or you think you can not….you are going to be right. The choice is up to us.
If we live life filled with negative thoughts, then we will have a very negative life. If we live life with positive thoughts, then our life will be positive. It is a choice and it is also a way of life. We have to teach ourselves to move those negative thoughts on out. I love the image of the trap door and when ever negativity comes into my brain, I flip the switch and the trap door opens and drops the thoughts into the hole below.
”Write the bad things that are done to
you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.”
– Arabic Proverb-
image from http://www.stevensummerstone.com
The Shadow Of The Valley
What do you do
when the valley is deep
and the mountains so high?
sometime you just
lay in the shade
fueling up to go again
sometimes you push on
on legs weak
rubber bands shaking
sometimes you crawl
make it at all
and sometimes sadly
people die in the desert
because alone is
a hard way to fight
move, move, move
the wind shouts
voices are dim
memories to you
inch my inch
you move along
looking for that arm
to lift you
or for that shade
to hide from
the beating rays
sizzling your body
burning your skin
looking around you see
emptiness and less
and inch by inch
you make it once more
through the valley
only to see people
all dressed to the nines
why were they not
in the valley
of the shadow
of death with you?
people talk a good talk
but seldom walk
the walk with you
and so you continue
to walk the walk
but you make it
you have to
you can not
until it is your
to become the sand
Many people ask me how I keep going and how I keep such a good attitude. And my answer always is because I choose to. Life is full of choices and being a survivor is one of them. Sometimes people get lost in the victim mentality and do not know their way out and sometimes people like being the victim because it fills a need inside for attention or to not have to be the fighter we can be or because it is familiar and they would rather have the familiar than to empower themselves and step out and become a survivor.
Things happen in life that make us all victims at some point but the truth is, we do not have to stay a victim. It is not what happens to us in life that makes us who we are…it is how we deal with it that does. We can either become what happens to us or we can become the survivor of what happens to us. I personally choose survivor because that is how I am.
Being a survivor should instill in us the desire to make it easier for those that come behind us and we do that by showing them what is still good in our lives, not all that has been wrong or still is wrong. I am always humbled when people tell me how much I inspire them. I do not set out to inspire but more to try to offer what I have learned along this journey of mine to help them survive too. I call it my older than dirt wisdom.
danLrene’s Signs of a victim mentality versus a survivor mentality
A victim focuses on the things they can not control.
A survivor focuses on the things they can control and influence.
A victim will get angry if you encourage them to be positive.
A survivor will be enthused by positive affirmations.
A victim surrenders power over their life to others and to events.
A survivor’s life is focused on the power they have gained by how they respond to life.
A victim tells you everything that has gone wrong or is still wrong in their lives.
A survivor will tell you all that is still right in their lives first and how they refuse to give up.
A victim uses the event that made them a victim as an excuse of why they are a victim.
A survivor uses the event as a reason why they have survived and overcome.
A victim’s life centers around all that is wrong and why life is so hard.
A survivor’s life centers on how they are going to cope and make their life better.
A victim wears a badge of sorts that says “I am a victim. Feel sorry for me”
A survivor wears a badge and tells everyone with pride “I am a survivor”.
A victim gives up easily, feels helpless and feels like they have no choice in their life.
A survivor fights to get ahead and endures and feels empowered to take their life back.
A victim is often dramatic about what has happened and portray themselves as limited.
A survivor is quick to tell you that they are a survivor and are capable.
Victims tend to associate with other people who have the victim mentality.
Survivors tend to associate with other people with survivor mentality.
Those are just a few things that differentiate victim from survivor. And it is all choice. It may take a little time to go from victim to survivor and hopefully on to thriving in your life in spite of all the obstacles you have overcome but it is essential that we keep moving forward. It is when we stall out in the victim mentality that we are cheating ourselves from having a better life.
I have been through many things in my life…personal hardships, financial hardships and medical hardships including at one time losing a child, my home, my vehicle and my health and yet each time, I have been able to survive and go on. I do not go into details on these things because to me they are past and I look to the future and they are hurdles I have jumped over and am still jumping over. But, let me tell you that in spite of all the health issues I have now, I am still leading a full and happy life. I am NOT my health issues. I am Deb who just happens to have some health issues.
Things happen to us that make us a victim at the time and change our lives totally and in order to be a survivor, we have to accept and come to terms with these changes.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell
I think people cling to the victim mentality because it is a familiar lifestyle. It is the same reason that people will stay in bad relationships or jobs..because they know what to expect and that is less scary than being a survivor and having a willingness to step out into the unknown and become empowered enough to take your life back and not let whatever has happened or is happening to steal your life from you. Every moment we remain a victim when we could work towards being a survivor is stealing our life from us and letting the event have more power on us that it should. And I do not have that many minutes I want to waste anymore.
And once you become the survivor, you are only a step away from becoming a thriver and living your life to the fullest no matter what you face. Being a thriver is more than surviving, it is flourishing in your life where you are at. You know that old expression, bloom where you are planted. Well, I bloom from a hospital bed with oxygen on and I have so much love and laughter and joy in my life…because I choose to. Thriving is not about just surviving, it is about how you see yourself and who you think you are and what you think you are capable of doing.
And that brings me full circle to why I am a survivor and thriver and how I believe we should be setting an example and being all we can be for those coming behind us who fall a victim so that they too can become survivors and thrivers. Inspire means to encourage, to motivate someone in a positive way and what more positive way than to encourage someone to be a survivor.
We got home from the doctor Tuesday and had 6 inches of snow. Son actually went out and measured. Then it continued to snow and snowed more during the nite and the snow reached almost to the top of the brick little wall out front that is like a retainer wall for a step up. It measures 11 inches and you can see in the picture how close the snow comes. I love living at this altitude. While places in lower altitudes get three and four inches..we get a bunch.
Flower pots taken when we got home.
looking from porch
An amazing show I got last week coming home. The orange glow in the center is NOT the sun. The sun is way to the far left of the picture. I took a lot of shots of this orange glow trying to figure out what it was.
The ice from the roads…this was really awesome to see.
a sheet of ice on the door that fell off in one sheet when I opened the door.
And update on doc visit. They burned the nerves on the left side and will get the right side this coming Tuesday. It is more painful to have done in the mid back but I can tell it helps so the result is worth it. Then I saw my regular doc because of this rash on my face..cheeks, forehead and eyelids and feeling bad..achy joints, head hurting, etc. They are testing me for lupus, sjorgens and rheumatoid factor to eliminate them and then will see where to go next.
If a fifteen year old child can write with such strength on never giving up, then I know I can keep fighting and never give up. I refuse to give up.
I WILL NEVER GIVE UP
I will never give up
No matter what the odds are
No matter what people say
No matter how far
I will never give up
If I throw it away time after time
If I am one step behind try after try
If I miss dime after dime
I will never give up
Even when it seems all over
Even when no one else believes
Even when it seems I can go no further
I will never give up
For I know I have strength within
For I know I can persevere
For I know that I can win
I will never give up
Because it’s someone elses fault
Because I am settling for good enough
Because I fear that I will fall short
I will never give up
There is so much I can still do
There is too much talent to waste
There is so much in me that I want you to see
I will never give up
Why squander all of my hard work and dedication
Why not show the world that I am a fearless baller
Why quit when I still have the opportunity to go on
I will never give up
If I do, I will not be the best me that could live
If I do, I will never know what I am capable of
If I do, I am not giving the world all I can give
I will never give up
Written in 2004 by K.D., Age 15 — Oregon
POSTED BY SON:
I am always amazed when I get out of my house and things are not handicapped accessible like I am used to and I find that these things make our lives so much easier and yet people will not use them because they think it makes them look old or whatever.
My parents would not use handicap things like the handicap seat for the toilet and hated the walkers they were supposed to use. My mother wanted them kept in the other room. When asked why? Their response was “it makes us look old”. They were 83 and thought the people in the assisted living were old people, not them. And so, both my parents fell, broke a hip, had surgery, developed MRSA and died. All because of pride.
Maybe because I was disabled at such a young age…in my early forties and really disabled in my thirties but did not get on disability until my early forties…that I handled having handicap things better. Having the handicap toilet, the grab bars, the utensils with bigger handles, higher hospital bed bed, power chair, forearm crutches, remote control lights, etc all make my life easier. And when we go to the doctor or have to stay in a motel to be there for medical things at the hospital, I realize just how much easier that these things make my life. They help me save my energy so that I have the energy to do things I enjoy and to be with my loved ones and enjoy them.
Son is so awesome at handicap stuff and is always making or fixing things to make it safer for me or to make it easier. For example, on the door frames going out of the house is a grab bar so that I can hold on to it to answer the door. There was a grab bar right beside where the coffee pot was on the old cabinets that son just pulled out so that I could hold on to make my coffee. The little shelf was a telephone nook and low so you could sit on a stool but because I was standing to get my coffee, he raised the little shelf up. He removed those big bulky cabinets to make it easier for me to get around in my power chair that I am having to use right now and will probably have to use more and more as time goes on.
Having a chair in the shower and a handheld shower nozzle is probably the most wonderful thing in the world because it does not wear me out to take a shower as bad. Before, just taking a shower meant a nap after I got out and dressed because it took all my energy. Son helped me shampoo my hair at the kitchen sing..and another nap before I could dry it and I never did both on the same day. And yet here I can with my new shower chair with arms on the side.
But, the hardest thing for people to accept is help when they start getting limited mobility. It does not have to mean you are totally disabled. It can mean that you get exhausted easily like from CFS or Fibro. It can be all sorts of things and there is no shame in using these things. It took me a while to use the scooters in the stores when I first became disabled because I was afraid of what people would say. Before I got a hospital bed, son put two mattresses stacked so that I did not have to sit so low to get up and down. And then I learned that it did not matter what people said. Those that loved me and knew I had problems would understand and those that were not willing to really see the real me really did not matter. What mattered is taking care of me.
I learned to keep things in every room to save me energy of which I have precious little. I had notepads, ink pens, lotion, reading glasses, a fleece cover, even a brush in case someone showed up…all by every place I would use in each room. Why? Because it saved me a trip to get them. People who live on two floors should do the same on each floor to cut down the trips up and down the stairs.
I have had people tell me that they could no longer get on the computer because it hurt too much to sit at the desk and yet when I would suggest moving the computer to the table by their recliner or by their bed, you would have thought I was crazy and they would say “I am not ready for that yet”. What are they waiting on? To be so bad that by the time they are “ready” they will not even be able to enjoy that? Think of the joy they could have now if they conserved their spoons now and used ways to conserve their precious energy.
Look on the side of my page here and you will see my hospital bed with my computer monitor and flat screen tv. I type laying on my back with the keyboard on a pillow on my stomach. It allows me to continue having online friends and social interaction plus doing something I enjoy BUT had I not been willing to use an easier method…I would not be doing this. Assistive methods mean just that…ways to assist us and to make things easier. They are not something to be ashamed of. They do not make us old or look old. It is making our lives where we can enjoy more in spite of the things we have wrong whether it be limited ability or totally disabled.
And it comes back to that word I preach so much…choice. It is our choice. We can choose to use things to make life easier so that we do not use what little energy we have or we can choose to let pride rule us and we make life harder and that in turn takes life away from us. I realize how much it helps me to use the things available, to change my home to help me no matter if it no longer looks like a Good Housekeeping Home or like everyone else’s home.
And I have learned that it is important for me to do the things I can do for me and if people do not understand, that is ok. That is their problem, not mine. My problem is to take care of me, to make life easier for me which in turn makes life’s good moments more frequent.
Sorry for posting so much but I am laying here feeling pretty yukkie. Seems the third day is always the worst and then uphill. This topic is one of my passions. I hear people call animals “dumb animals” and treat them like they have no feelings and it makes me sick. I have said this before, if you do not know if what you do hurts an animal, then do it to yourself first. If it hurts you, it will hurt the animal.
Also, I want to ask people to stop thinking of animals as objects. Parents get children animals and when it does not work out, they take it to the shelter. Here a feeling animal has grown attached to a family only to be abandoned. And it shows in their looks. All animals want is to be loved. If they are wild, love them from a distance but do not abuse them. If they are domestic animals, please treat them like what they are…feeling, living beings and not a toy that you can just give away when you are tired of it, not something to make money with without concern for the animal but a living, feeling, breathing being.
Ok, back to animals feeling. If you really look at animals, you will see emotions in animals and research has shown that they do feel. Animals often say their pet is smiling and others will scoff at them. And animals feel fear, pain, sorrow, loss, excitement, joy, contentment. Where did some humans get the ideas that only we humans feel these things and they can mistreat these wonderful creatures? Animals show expressions and give actions because they have no words to tell us that something bothers them, that they are tired, that they want to be left alone, that they are hungry, etc and if we pay attention we soon learn our own pet’s expressions and sounds.
Animals showing fear. Can you see the fear in their eyes?
human showing fear
image from louisdietvorst.wordpress.com
Bears showing love
image from lindsayreddick.blogspot.com
Humans showing love. Amazing how similar is it not.
image from funnybabyanimalphotos.blogspot.com
Animals Showing Anger
image from m.inmagine.com
Human showing anger
image from goodreads.com
Animals showing grief
Humans showing grief
Amazing when you look at animals, really look at them, their expressions are so much like our own and that is because they do feel. They feel the tone of our voice, they feel any thing physically done to them be it love or hurt, they feel loss when they lose someone or one of their own and they even feel anger….just like us. And they smile and show joy just like we do.
Animals showing happiness
image from somethinwonderful.blogspot.com
image from slices-of-life.com
image from fanpop.com
Baby Smiling and showing happiness
image from ididafunny.com
Animal loving a human
image from youthvoices.net
What is sad is that humans are the biggest threat to animals. Is that not horrible. These beautiful, smart and feeling creatures and we are their biggest threat. People take their land which takes their habitats and food. People use them in horrific ways such as in dog fighting. People slaughter them in horrendous ways. People mistreat them and injure them and most of their deaths are because of humans. Is it not time that people quit treating them like objects and started treating them as the magnificent creatures they are?
Life is tough enough. There are enough things we have to deal with in our lives but no matter how many things we deal with, I have found that being complacent only makes me lose out. If I am not willing to stand up for what is right and more important stand up for myself….how can I expect anyone else to?
If we sit by and become complacent and put our heads in the sand, we’re complicit.
I think sometimes people feel like if they do not rock the boat and make any waves and keep the peace that they are doing something good. What it does is make us complicit to whatever is going on. If we are complacent and do not do anything when we see a crime, it in essence makes us part of that crime.Well, the same is true if we do not stand up for ourselves. If we are complacent then we have no reason to complain for we became part of whatever is mistreating us.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
James Neil Hollingworth
To give you an example, the Social Services on the other side of the mountain treated me badly and cut off my services before it was even time. We had sold the house and you have so much time to put that money back into another house before it goes against you. My first reaction was just to cry in tears and frustration. And if it had not been for the Social Services on this side of the mountain, I might have just given up and been complacent about it. I might have said what is the use?
Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
I was encouraged to get a lawyer and I did and it took three or four conference calls with a judge and the social services people on the other side of the mountain and with my lawyer here with me in my room and then the judge told them to reinstate my services. He was quick to catch that they had terminated them too soon and that this was taking too long and keeping me from getting the health care I needed. It affected my son as my caretaker, my home help, my medical…everything. Had I been complacent, I would be sitting here today with no medical coverage.
I know sometimes it is hard to stand up for ourselves. Some of us find it easier to stand up for others or for causes than ourselves but we have to be our number one advocate. If we are not, then we can’t expect anyone else to join in our defense.
“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.”
— Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
Being complacent may be the easy way out but it is also the most expensive way out emotionally and sometimes financially. Being complacent does not just apply to ourselves but also to what we see in the world. We have no right to say we are against abuse if we see it and never report it. Nor do we have a right to complain when things happen if we do not get out and fight for what is right. It also applies to politics. We should not complain about who is in office if we did not bother voting. Complacency makes us complicit. I love that for it is so true. If someone is in office and we do not think they should be there, if we did not vote…then we are complicit in putting them in office.
We should not be complacent but especially do not be complacent about what happens to you and to those around us. Sometimes we can not always pick the easy way out….which is usually to ignore whatever it is. Sometimes we have to put on our big girl panties…our big boy boxers…and do what is right even though we may make someone mad. We show people what they can do to us by what we accept. If we do not accept mistreatment, ugly talk, condescension, verbal attacks…whatever, then people will know and will not be as tempted to try it with us.
Cowardice asks the question – is it safe?
Expediency asks the question – is it politic?
Vanity asks the question – is it popular?
But conscience asks the question – is it right?
And there comes a time when one must
take a position that is neither safe, nor
politic, nor popular; but one must take
it BECAUSE it is right.
Dr. Martin Luther King