I’ve always been a fighter.
From as early as 8th grade, I have taken up the torch to try and right wrongs. I remember getting into an argument with Sr. Diane Marie because she wouldn’t allow our class graduation celebration to be held at the park across the street. I started a petition on the classroom blackboard. And decided that I didn’t want to be a nun.
When I was in high school, the school board decided to close the junior high building and move them to the high school. Since I was the editor of the high school paper, I wrote an editorial about why this was such a bad decision and offered alternatives to overcrowding our small building. I think there was a petition for that issue too. Our Superintendent wasn’t all that pleased, but to her credit, acknowledged my freedom of speech.
In college, I found that not only could I spotlight the ills of our society by writing, but I could actually “do” something about them through organizing volunteer efforts. That has become my life’s work.
I think my intolerance for injustice comes from my grandfather. From very early on, he encouraged me to be strong, to be fair, to be steadfast for what is right.
Personally, professionally, and socially, it’s the core of who I am.
The upside is that I’ve been able to empower a whole lot of people over the last 20 years to be a part of the solution to the problems they see in their communities.
But, there’s also a downside. My intolerance trigger is always at the ready. When unjust treatment strikes, especially when it comes to me or my family, I want resolution to be swift and complete. My words are direct and I expect whoever the offender is to make the situation right. If that doesn’t happen, the proverbial gloves come off.
My husband calls me a warrior. That I fight for what’s right, especially when it comes to the Minions, is something that he admires about me. He considers it one of my strengths. I’m not so sure. I’ve left quite a path of ruined relationships in the fight for what’s right. It’s not a regret, more of a sad observation.
I wish I was one of “those people” who radiates calm; who always seem to let things roll of their back. My “things” seem to get stuck in my back and it’s a struggle to get them free. I wish I was more peaceful inside, instead of feeling like my emotions need to stand at the ready, prepared to ward off the next betrayal or unjust action against me. I’m not an angry person. I’m just always on the defense. I wish I could look at life more like Blessed Mother Teresa.
“Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well,”–Blessed Mother Teresa.
Words to live by. Literally.
Live. Laugh. Love.