Standing Up for What You Believe In
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity. ~Christopher Morley
Fair warning dear readers … this story is about a more serious subject than I usual write about and reading it could result in reactions ranging from mild discomfort to stunned disbelief or possibly even a touch of righteous indignation.
Still with me? Here goes …
Have ever been the only one in a large group to defend someone or something that you know in your heart is right? If so, then you are what the world considers a hero.
Standing up for what you believe in is not only one of the most admirable traits a person can possess, but is at the same time one of the most challenging and self fulfilling. It can also leave you in peril and standing alone in a crowd at times.
Many of us are afraid to stand up and voice our beliefs because it’s so much easier to go along with the crowd. We especially worry about not fitting in or that our friends will be critical and lack understanding.
The truth is standing up for what you believe in requires a great amount of courage, and as much as we like to believe that a hero or heroine will swoop-in to defend our honor, it is extremely rare. There are two things to consider: First, if YOU don’t stand up for yourself or your beliefs, then how can you expect others to? And second, the person who you should ALWAYS be able to count on to stand up for you – no matter what – is YOU.
Throughout history there have been people who have risked their lives to share their voices and beliefs with the world. We can learn a lot about courage from people who have faced more peril than we can ever imagine, all for standing up for what they believe.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
One Night of Terror
The 33 women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for little more than standing up for their beliefs, and by the end of the first night they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the women. They beat one woman, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.
They hurled another into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate thought she was dead and suffered a heart attack.
For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms.
When one of the leaders embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press and pressure was brought to bear to release the women.
Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
What country would allow such treatment? What was their crime?
The ‘Night of Terror’ … unfolded in Washington, D.C., United States of America in the year 1917 when 33 women were arrested and tortured for the crime of “obstructing sidewalk traffic” while carrying signs outside the White House asking for the right for women to vote.
The battle to win our right to vote was fought for many years, and by thousands of women around the world, many of whom suffered similar or even worse indignities all for standing up for their beliefs and our freedom to exercise self determination.
August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. It didn’t happen by accident.
Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. 2012 is an election year in the U.S. and we need to exercise this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – please make the time to learn about the issues and candidates and exercise your beliefs by voting.
I hope you will consider joining the IGG Community! It only takes a couple of minutes to sign up, and then each new article will be conveniently delivered to your email inbox … and of course you’ll also receive your Free Welcome Gift.
To learn more – press here.