Making a Stand

Making a Stand

It is so easy to criticize, ostracize, and vilify  anyone not displaying conformity and making a political stand when everyone else is going through the motions with varying levels of conviction and hypocrisy. What are these righteous naysayers doing? Are they being supportive and involved in their area schools when a student sits out because they refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?  Are they involved when children are being bullied for being different? Why do they continue to take a stoic stance when one burns the American Flag?  Are they doing enough to understand the motivation as to why refusing to stand during the National Anthem should not be considered a test of loyalty to a country and an exercise in insincerity? Why is affection for a country and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for it be confined to only a few minutes long rendition of a song or a recitation of allegiance? Is there anyone willing to positively address issues like that? And if there aren’t, what are the reasons why?

The truth is most people aren’t doing anything and not enough of anything to voice an opinion. Yet these same judgmental people have all the answers for what others should be doing and how they should do it. If more effort was put into standing up for others rather than evaluating others actions, this world would be a different place.

The social pressure to stand and to conform is so strong. Individual freedom is based on choice. Religion and expression freedoms are non-existent when you fail to guarantee freedom from coercion and remain silent to inequities. There is a quiet respect for someone who has the courage to take an unpopular stand, own it, and is willing to live with the consequences of their actions. That doesn’t mean you should agree with the method they used to make their stance.  You can’t use a negative stance to respond to negativity and call it a positive.  Use your name and platform to stand and raise positive awareness for an issue, especially if you know you have major influence.  When that platform is created, everyone should be able to analyze and discuss why the stance was made, why it was necessary, and what prompted the stance.  Make a bigger impact and donate time and money to raise awareness.  Don’t allow others the privilege of defining you by their standards and criteria before allowing you the right to raise your voice on an issue and succeed in bringing attention to it.

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The Price of Infamy

The Price of Infamy

In a world obsessed by wealth and celebrity, the infamous are emerging and becoming the perfect role models in traditional and untraditional ways. They epitomize a new wave of the famous who are determined to transform their fame into cold, hard cash.  Whatever happened to role models being measured by their talents and cultivated over a period of time from blood, sweat, and tears? Where is the role model who displayed style and grace in private and in public appearances?  Where is the role model who displayed a level of determination, perseverance, and resilience in the face of adversity that made them stand out in their given field?  Where is the role model that championed overcoming opposition, defying expectations, and remaining true to themselves?  Where is the role model who emphasized the right to be uncomfortable with life and face it head on? Where is the role model who displayed qualities that united people rather than divided them?

At one point in time, a role model was like a fine bottle of wine. You secluded, pampered and celebrated its aging to perfection.  Every once in a while you would put it on display and show the world its true essence before the big moment you uncorked it.  Nowadays, the fine bottle of wine has been replaced with poor quality alcohol. Society idolizes and obsesses over the infamous because they are famous.  They don’t display the mold of the old school role model who showed that having character meant presenting depth, feeling, and character flaws.  The new role model image is loud and clear:  you must be dominant and intimidating.  You must find ways to disrespect, insult, put down, and push boundaries.  You are above the law.  You are not accountable for you misdeeds.  You must never champion personal or professional integrity or be accused of going against the grain and having morals.

Please bring back the old school mentality.