Standing Up, Speaking Out

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

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I noticed a Huff Post tweet today that linked to Secretary of State Clinton’s LGBTQ speech delivered in honor of the upcoming anniversary of Human Rights Day.  She (or her speech writer) was absolutely brilliant in this speech.  Sometimes I hate when I’ve been searching for words to express what I want to say and then hear or see something that expresses it better than I ever could.  Other times, I just want to cheer the person that did get it right.  This was one of those times.

I often struggle to make my words and actions match my values.  It is HARD to live compassionately because there are people who will try to take advantage of that.  I would save the world if I could, and it hurts a little bit to know that I can’t.  Speeches like this make me proud to call Hillary Clinton one of my country’s leaders though.  She is helping to do what I cannot do by myself.

This also reminded me that I need to go back and review Twelve Steps for a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong again.  I have gotten away from the self-reflection and meditation that her steps call for and also haven’t made the time to review my actions, thoughts and words the way I should.  I’m gifting this book to a friend for the holidays, and it reminded me that I need to step back and remain vigilantly mindful.

My husband and I had a conversation recently about the sanctity of life.  Not just human life but all life.  I often feel that my views are uncommonly pacifist and it makes me want to “toughen up” my image at times.  Usually, I do this by seeming unaffected or hiding behind cynicism. For example,  I have a hard time watching ASPCA commercials without crying, so I change the channel or leave the room.

Part of what Mrs. Clinton evoked in her speech was the effort that should be made to remain a part of the dialogue.  When you stop putting your feelings and opinions out there, then the progress also stops.  I have a tendency to stop talking and then stew.  The stewing just leads to frustration.  It is a habit that I need to break.  This speech made it very clear that my actions are unacceptable.  “…it takes a constellation of conversations in places big and small. And it takes a willingness to see stark differences in belief as a reason to begin the conversation, not to avoid it.”

I am passionate in my views; that does not mean that I shouldn’t voice them.  I should be respectful in voicing them certainly and my temper should be checked at the door.  If my husband can’t read my mind (ha!) I don’t know why I would expect anyone else to have that power.  If I don’t speak out, others will not know when they are offending me, or how hurtful their words and actions can potentially be.


3 thoughts on “Standing Up, Speaking Out

  1. Pingback: Making A Difference | KWADERNO

  2. My advise to you is – do not try to change yourself. Be yourself as that is the greatest thing about you. You can’t save the world but you can make it a better place to live for people around you. And one doesn’t have to be gay to appreciate you and your stand on human rights.
    Think about it this way – you wake up and you care. You walk on the street and you smile at somebody. You just made a difference because there is a possibility that you made somebody’s day or even saved a life. A few little gestures go far in this world. Just because you care and you say it out loud, you reach people who are searching for that little bit of kindness. You do not have to be Hillary to do great things, you just need to be yourself and share yourself with people around you

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