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There's Nothing I Can Do

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We read about it everyday on Facebook and the news... the hatemongers spreading their message that anything other than what they believe or do is wrong.  It makes my blood boil.  I believe in tolerance, an appreciation for diversity, and that none of us holds the only right answer for everything. 

There is more than one way... more than one way to believe, more than one way to dress, more than one way to look, more than one way to act, more than one way to choose.  When I protest that these judgments of hate are unfair and untrue, I am told more often than not, "I know, but there's nothing I can do."

It is that mentality that allows the evils of prejudice to continue and to grow.  It is that lack of taking responsibility for change that keeps us at the level of intolerance we experience in this country... "Land of the Free"- as long as you're just like me. 

What about "Home of the Brave?"  What if each one of us pledged to take a stand against prejudice, to speak up where we see it being voiced, to respond when we see someone writing it,  to take a stand in opposition when we see it happening?  It's a scary thought isn't it, to stand up for what is right when you might well be the only one standing or speaking out?  But if you don't, and I don't, who will? 

Mahatma Gandhi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world." That is where we start, making our words, our actions, and our lives an example of tolerance, understanding, and compassion. That's the first step, the second step is to take a stand - to find the courage to say "No, that's wrong"! 

It is always so much easier to maintain our convictions quietly, rarely are we called upon in this day and age to defend them.  But what does it say about the strength of our convictions if we are willing to shake our heads and turn away, and dismiss prejudice and hate by saying to ourselves "there's nothing I can do."   I assure you, there is always, ALWAYS something we can do! 

Promise yourself that the next time you are hearing or reading a message of hate, or witnessing it in action, that you will find the courage to let change begin with you.  Let's pledge together to STOP THE HATE!
 
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I'm linking up with Patricia's blog hop In Other Words
 where the creative writing prompt this week is the following quotation:
 
"There's nothing I can do about it."
- Jeralean Talley

 

10 comments:

  1. A wonderful rousing write. I agree completely and you made the point very well.

    Have a blessed week.

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    1. Thank you Gail! If there's one thing that fires me up it is prejudice of any kind!

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  2. Great job with this, Josie....we do see a lot of hate in the world, but I try to surround myself with lots of loving folks.

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    1. I agree with you Linda Kay, there is so much hate and cruelty, but we can't let ourselves get sucked into the believe that the world is a bad place - it isn't. I see all kinds of outpourings of love and compassion everyday too, we need to focus more on those, and most certainly our media does!!

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    1. Thank you, Mimi! Every now and then I feel the urge to get on my soapbox! :-)

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  4. I whole-heartedly agree with everything your have written here. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. What's sad to me is sometimes the people we love and spend time with hold some very biased opinions. We want to enjoy the friendship, but can't tolerate the prejudice. (I am thinking of a particular girlfriend of mine, here). I say things like - we agree to disagree. Or make some remark like, "all God's children." But it just sort of hangs in the air.

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    1. I encounter problems like that sometimes too, Val - people I truly really like in all other ways have hateful attitudes about a particular person, group of people, or thing. It's upsetting because intolerance almost always means a mind that is closed in other ways too, someone who is afraid to even consider anything new or different. I'm not saying with have to like or agree with it, we just need to practice tolerance and compassion - and often that leads to understanding and even love.

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  5. Excellent essay! I can feel your fire heating up the keyboard as you wrote. I am guilty of being "quiet". Thank you for calling me out on this issue. If the only voices heard are the haters then how will the next generation know there is any other way to think? I love the way you took the quote and made it something other than the passive thought of a very old woman. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Patricia! Yes, this is probably the most upsetting form of ignorance there is, the promoting of hateful attitudes! I understand why we all tend to be more quiet than we maybe should be. It's hard to speak out, especially when we will be the lone voice of dissent, or the people expressing such ideas or behavior are our friends, or worse yet family members. But just as you note, if no one ever finds the courage to say "this is wrong" how will our children grow up to know this is not the way to think and be? Thank you for a good quote to work with! I just took it in a different direction! I tend to do that! ;-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)