Standing up for what you believe in, when so many others disagree, can be daunting, to say the least. Going against the grain, no matter how crazy the “grain” may seem, takes courage, passion and tremendous character. Even those who have been deemed “leaders” have struggled — and continue to struggle — with doing the right thing in some of the most difficult of times. Regardless of whether you’re talking about top football coaches, top clergy, school principals, teachers, students, parents, friends or strangers, the reality is that doing the right thing is often the hardest thing to do.
There are countless stories of people growing silent in response to crimes. There are countless stories of teen boys cheering on their friends while they assault and rape a fellow teen. There are countless stories of parents protecting their teens at all costs, even when their child did tremendous harm to another. And there are countless stories of perpetrators, bystanders, family members, school members, strangers and acquaintances blaming victims, justifying hate, rape, abuse, bullying and on and on. Far too many people put a warped sense of loyalty, a desire for popularity or a twisted sense of what’s right ahead of human decency, kindness, compassion.
…And then along come those who are brave enough to take a stand. Along come those fellow human beings who have mustered the courage to speak out against injustice, to take a stand against the world’s atrocities and to find their voice. Along come people who provide respite, relief and a refreshing break from the justifications, excuses and rationalizations for toxic behaviors.
Below are several short videos about those who are daring enough to take a stand on the issues that have touched their world and, by extension, our world. May you tune into their messages and be inspired by their courage to use your own voice on the issues that matter to you…and ultimately our world.
- A Utah high school football coach benches his entire team to teach them how to be better human beings: http://tinyurl.com/klsnpdm
- Jackson Katz speaks out as a leader in the fight against violence against women and children: http://tinyurl.com/lkoz8oh
- An incredibly articulate video about the socialization of women that ALL women (and men) should see: http://tinyurl.com/po5xm7h
- Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai speaks at the United Nations in support of education: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRh_30C8l6Y (19 minutes)
- A short clip with Malala Yousafzai leaving Jon Stewart at a loss for words: http://tinyurl.com/l3d7jpx
- A powerful video on human trafficking: http://tinyurl.com/qbt62mo
- A brave girl speaks out against rape: http://tinyurl.com/orzrcxo
- A teen’s poem about the effect of his parents’ “brain-washing” on him: http://www.lifesitenews.com/blog/the-truth-of-how-religious-parents-brainwash-their-kids/
Silently accepting the injustices around you enables those injustices to grow. Find your voice. Speak up against the behaviors that happen right in front of you, the ones that happen to you and the ones that happen to those closest to you. And if you’re daring enough, speak up to those injustices that happen further out from you — the ones that happen to strangers, acquaintances, groups, countries and our world.
Challenge: Take the time to read, watch and ponder the above world messages. Dare to find your own voice about an issue that strikes you and to set in motion a ripple effect of change across the waters of the world.