Standing Up

I don’t mean physically standing. I’m just not very good at coming up with blog post titles that make sense. Especially when I’m still on my first cup of coffee.

I’m talking about standing up for yourself. For others. For what you believe in.

That isn’t always easy to do. You might be surrounded by people who believe differently from you, and it’s hard to be the only voice on your side of the issue. There might be that one person in your school or workplace or social group that no one else seems to like, and even though you’d like to get to know them, you’re afraid you’d lose your other friends if you tried.

Some reading this might now be thinking “Workplace?” Yeah. Workplace. Aside from the fact that a lot of teens have jobs where the social atmosphere might not be a whole lot different from school, bullying, shunning, excluding, etc. doesn’t end when someone reaches adulthood. It happens at work; it seems to happen a lot in social groups. Some of the worst bullies I’ve known in my life are a group of women in their 40s-60s.

When you’re faced with things like “Don’t talk to them or no one else will like you,” or you know that everyone around you has the same beliefs about an issue and you disagree with them, or you’re the “them” other people are being told not to talk to… It isn’t easy. You feel like you’re alone, or you’re afraid you will be alone if you don’t go along with the crowd.

Here’s the thing. Even if it’s kind of scary, sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe, or for yourself, or for someone else who might not be able to stand up for themselves. One voice might seem like a whisper in the middle of a concert crowd, but it can still make a difference to those who hear it. And it might have an ongoing effect.

Try. If you can’t stand up, that’s okay… but try.