Saturday, May 23, 2009

What Do You Stand For?

I have stood mere centimeters from my kids faces shouting at them, "What do you stand for?" It may seem galling to some that this is my behavior with my "kids", but please understand they are all taller than I am and I believe it is my job to put them to the test before the rest of the world does. The times when I have acted this way has always been when they actively decided to do something I feel was/is potentially dangerous. They are/were teenagers and I had to be on point at all times. The idea was to push them into having to yell back what it is they actual believe, verses what nonsense they have gotten caught up in. If you have perfect children who have never done anything questionable, then by all means, you are excused from this blog. I am talking about kids and adults alike who are far from perfect and have made mistakes or taken a course that had the potential to do harm either to themselves or someone else. It could be a simple as gossiping or as complex as driving with someone under the influence.
My kids are great kids. I have done my best as their mother to instill in them what is the right thing to do. I see them and know they have heard me. That doesn't however, exempt them from all bad behavior, or me either, for that matter. I have had to yell that same question at myself from time to time. I believe we all have our moments when we forget what it is we believe.
The times when I have stood toe to toe with my kids and asked that question I was always relieved to hear their answer. When pushed, they always came back at me with their ideals and beliefs firmly held and staunchly defended. The times when I have felt beaten down and stared at my own vacant eyes demanding an answer, I would almost always come through immediately with the answers I have always known and embraced. I admit, though, there have been moments of weakness when I have hesitated, feeling as if all I held dear was a lie. It inevitably came after some disastrous event that had me doubting my very purpose on earth. In the end, I would look into my own tear filled eyes and remember that believing and practicing the right thing didn't guarantee perfect results. Sometimes taking a stand, firmly embedding oneself in their vision of righteousness has no immediate reaction at all, or worse has ramifications from an offended party, intended or not. But believe and stand firm I did, often times in spite of myself.

What I stand for is very simplistic:
I believe in the America of my forefathers, the perfect ideal in the constitution of the United States. More than that, I believe in the American people(I am a flag waver from way back).
I believe the children are our future and deserve our respect, and our wisdom, not our money or condescension or control.
I believe given the opportunity most people are good and seek fairness. Inequality brings prejudice, hate and violence.
I believe in listening to my elders. Having lived far longer than I, their knowledge has been invaluable to me.
I believe in miracles, the unexplained, the unscientific that can neither be proven nor revoked by facts and figures.
I believe that the words I write, or speak matter. I believe with my whole heart that anything I throw out into the universe will firmly smack me back in the face. I'd rather have the kiss rather than the fist any day.
I believe that although love cannot conquer cancer, it can tie us together beyond the grave, allowing us to feel it forever.
I believe the greatest gift I have ever gotten is the ability to keep learning. My journey keeps me on my toes with my ears and eyes open. I don't want to miss a thing.
As corny as it sounds, I believe in love, honor, dignity, kindness and charity. I believe a single voice that stands for good can over power an entire world of evil. I believe that we are all here for a reason and if we touch a single soul we have made this a better world to live in.

Just like the Monkees "I'm a believer!" It's not easy to stand up for what you believe all the time. I think everyone gets put to the test and stretched to their limits to see if what they say is truly where they stand. If you are in a place of questioning and your mind feels overloaded and distracted, take a moment to look at your feet. Unless your mid flight you will be standing on some sort of solid ground. Use that as a reminder that you have simple veered off course, but that your internal compass will reveal once again exactly where you stand.

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