Monday, November 14, 2016

You're Somebody

The US had an election this past week, and I've been seeing a lot of talk about it without saying anything. So, now I'm going to say something that I've been thinking about a lot, and even more post-election. It's not going to be very political in nature, but it's been on my mind and I think it's worth sharing, since it gives me a lot of hope and strength.

But first, something to brighten your day if you're as big a Disney nerd as I am:


Okay, now, on to my main post.

I'm not going to talk about politics here. I don't care who you voted for or why, and I'm not here to start or moderate any debates about whether what happened was right or wrong for the country. I have my own views, of course, but I'm not interested in sharing them here.

I understand the feelings that the results of the election have raised, as much as I am able to understand them. If you are scared, hurt, or angry for any reason, I get that. You have good reasons for having those feelings, and here, today, I hope to shine a little light into some of the darkness that seems to be swirling around in your world. I don’t know if I’ll succeed; goodness knows I’m not wise or even smart enough to tell you exactly what you need to hear, but the way I see it, all hope isn’t lost.

It may seem that way. It often does; darkness and fear aren't new things. Hate and division aren't new things. But, the good news is that whenever darkness rises, light rises to meet it and, ultimately, defeat it.

Bad times come, yes. I want to remind you, though, how many people are standing up for others and hurting with those that hurt. And I want to remind you that no law can take the compassion from your heart. No change of leader can drain you of love and fill you with hate.

Unless you let it.

Because here's the good news, the best news of all: you are somebody.

You have worth as a person, and that worth is inherent to you. You could lose everything. The world could turn against you, and you could have to stand alone and face the masses who spit at you and call you vile names and hurt you. And you'll still be someone. No one can take that away from you.

You have remarkable power for good and for bad. You have the choice of how you'll use that power. You are human. You are strong. You are smart.

You are somebody.

Now, I'm a storyteller, so I think of things often in terms of storytelling. What I'm saying here is that you are the protagonist in your own life. You're the hero.

Who else would you be? It's your life, after all, and you are somebody. You wouldn't be the sidekick, helpful side character, love interest, or even the villain in your own life. Even villains are heroes in their own lives.

So, what kind of hero are you?

It can be easy, so easy, to deny your power as a hero. It can be easy to sit back and complain about life and yet not do anything to change it. It is easy to, when you are hurt, lash out and hurt someone else. But heroes don't do that. What good does it do, anyway, to spit fire and acid at others when you're angry? What good comes of spreading insults and stereotypes? What good does it do to attack and hurt? Heroes help, not hurt. Heroes unite, not divide.

It can also be so easy to deny others the ability to be heroes. But remember, if you are somebody, so is everyone around you. Everyone you see, everyone you know, everyone you just hear about on TV, is the hero in their own life. It can be easy to forget that life isn't a video game where you're Player 1 and everyone else is a mindless NPC that exists only to help or hurt you. It's more like a MMORPG, where everyone has their own goals and quests.

Okay, that got nerdy. But I hope my point is clear.

It's not easy to be a hero; one of the hard truths of life is that if you intend to take the high road, you have to make a climb. When you step up, you may feel scared or just a right fool. But that's what heroes do. They step up. They take charge. They help, protect, comfort, and save.

No, maybe you won’t blow up the Death Star. Maybe you won’t lead a rebellion to the Capital and end a cruel regime. Maybe you won’t fight an army. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t the Chosen One. It doesn’t mean you won’t save the day.

It just means you might have to do it on a smaller scale.

There’s a lot of bad things in the world. People hurt other people. People can be selfish, and they can be cruel. It doesn’t mean you should be, or that you should stand for it. Maybe you can’t right every wrong in the world, but when you’re at the store and you see someone being harassed, you can step in. When you hear hateful speech, you can gently stop it without passing it on. If you see someone is hungry, you can correct that much, at least. If a friend or even a stranger is visibly upset, you can listen and give what aid and comfort you can.

You can stop the fight, love others (even the people who may seem unlovable now), feed the hungry, comfort the sad and fearful, give of your time and energy to help those who need you, speak out, lift, encourage, help, and save.You can have hope in the future because you know that you will act to make it a good one.

You are somebody. You have worth and you have power. So does everyone around you, so you can affect change, one person at a time, until it becomes two people, then three. The world doesn’t become good on its own. It requires people to rise up and be good, and goodness spreads just like fear and hate do. You can do it, and every good thing you do, everyone you help, and every battle against the darkness, no matter how few, will matter more to the people they help, and to you, than they would if you never acted at all.

You have power and it's up to you how you use it. You can do good. You can use your strength and talents to help others instead of tearing them down and adding to a cycle of hurt and anger and fear. Why? Because you're the hero, and as much power as you have, that much is asked of you.

The world is calling your heroic name. They're saying, "Somebody should do something about this," "Somebody needs to listen to me," and even "Somebody help me!"

You are Somebody.

Answer the call.

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