What Do You Stand For?

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.
Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
 — Winston Churchill

What do you STAND for?  Quite literally, what would make you stand up out of your chair and say, “That’s not right!”  What personal set of guidelines can you fall back on when an important decision needs to be made?

We’re living a very important part of history right now in many ways, and most recently because of the social unrest of the past week.  Millions of people throughout the world are standing up and shouting, “That’s not right!” and demanding change.  They are taking action, because it is that important to them.

I encourage everyone to spend some time thinking about the questions, “What do I stand for?”  “What is my line in the sand, that if crossed, would impel me immediately into action?”  “What will I hold my ground on, and not waver even if I am pushed?”

I review my Stand, along with my Purpose and Mission each morning, and remind myself of it so that it can help guide my daily actions.  My Stand, which has developed over the years, is:

“I stand for living a life of continuous improvement.  I stand for integrity in my thoughts, words, and actions.  I stand for protecting and supporting my family.”

I have never thought specifically about standing up against racial discrimination, and that bothered me as I thought about it more.  Why hadn’t I thought to include this, as it absolutely goes against my personal values?  I thought more about why I always think about protecting and supporting my family as part of my daily ritual.  I have a strong bond with my family, and I would do anything to protect the people that I love.  I feel that a strong bond is growing throughout humanity again, especially since this year has brought about such global crises that affect all of us, but absolutely some more than others.  And so now I’d like to revise my Stand to include, “I stand for protecting and supporting anyone that is calling out for help.”

The black community is calling out for our help now.  They need all of our support if change is to be made to not tolerate discrimination.  The law enforcement community is calling out for our help now.  They too need our support and encouragement to continue their mission of protecting and serving the public, and to drive home change that may be painful for them but will be best for society.

Think about what you stand for.  Is helping others when they are in distress part of it?  If so, we’ve got some work to do.  For now, let’s listen and learn, and then stand up and ask how we can help.