I get that we feel inadequate. I get that we don’t know how to help. I get that we feel that someone else is better qualified. I get that we’re worried about our own safety. I get that we feel like it’s none of our business. I get that we think they’re on drugs. I get that we have to put our children first. I get that we might embarrass ourselves. I get that we don’t feel strong enough. I get that we might get turned away.
I get that we are scared.
What I don’t get is why people don’t just push all that away and stand up for someone anyway. There is nothing more important than standing up against something you know isn’t right. Nothing. It is probably even more important than standing up for something you know is true.
When help is needed: help. I promise you that if you leap to someone’s aid, you will not leap alone. It takes a very courageous person to put aside all their fears and be the first to do something, but be that person anyway. When others see your courage, it will light their own courage and they will be only a few tiny steps behind you.
Imagine if we all raised our children to believe that they will never leap alone. If we told them, “when you see someone being a bully, yell loud and clear to everyone that what they are doing isn’t right” and if we also told them, “if you see someone standing up to a bully, go and stand beside them and make your voice even louder than theirs.”
Imagine if our kids believed both those things to be true: that they should always help and that they will never help alone. If they could know with utter conviction that every good kid around them would rally with them to shout a bully down. If they believed that, they would have the courage to be that.
If every woman and man was raised to be those kids, then every person would know that every other good person has their back. We might still be putting ourselves at risk. We might still feel vulnerable and scared. But we would know that we would risk together and we wouldn’t be vulnerable and scared for long.
I am that person and I am raising my kids to be that person too. I have always leapt and I have never been let down. Good people have always had my back. I have put myself in risky, dangerous situations to help others, but I have never regretted it and I would do it again, every time, for as long as I’m here. I know from experience that it only takes one person to act for good people to act too. One person who believes that helping others is more important than just about anything else in the world. One person who is prepared to dismiss all the I shouldn’t, I can’ts, I’m nots and what ifs and just leap.
Be that person. Raise that person.