Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Dear Amelia,

I know you are only six, but I feel like someday you might read this.  After you stop rolling your eyes about my political posts, hopefully you will find this post.  I want to tell you honestly how it feels to stand up for something you believe in.

I know there probably have been a lot of people, myself included, that have told you that standing up for what is right always feels great.  You will feel great, you will influence people around you and they will feel great – everyone around you will rally with you and all will leave feeling so amazing that you all did the right thing in voicing what you felt was wrong, unjust or unfair.

Sometimes that’s correct and you will get a lot of support from those around you.

However, here is the honest truth – it doesn’t always feel great.  In fact sometimes you can end up feeling pretty lousy.

You might be thinking, “What do you mean it doesn’t feel great?  In the Lorax, the kid did what was right by planting a tree and the whole town came together with a big song and dance number in the end validating his feelings and actions.”

Dr-Seuss-The-Lorax-Movie-Poster

Here is why…

Doing what you believe is right doesn’t mean everyone around you thinks it’s right.  Sometimes you won’t persuade people to see your side of it.  You may voice your concerns and nobody may agree.

Then there is this…

I wish I could tell you that the desire to be liked and included goes away.  I wish I could tell you that once you leave the school playground or the halls of high school that suddenly the burning desire to be invited to parties and have lots of friends goes away.

The desire to be liked and included never goes away. No matter how old you are or where you are in life, everyone wants to be liked and included.

However, standing up for something or voicing support for someone who is being treated unfairly is a lot harder than clicking the “like” button on Facebook post.  Hopefully you will still know what I’m talking about when you read this, meaning if there is still Facebook – the pictures on Facebook showing a child who has been bullied or who looks different and to show support everyone clicks “like”.  That is an instant, feel-good moment where you can see the results of your actions – usually there are thousands of “likes” to show that everyone feels that child shouldn’t be bullied.  I call these “collective, warm fuzzies”.

I’m not saying that those Facebook posts don’t serve a good purpose, but the results of this are instant, usually number in the thousands in support with like-minded people and then after the click you move on.   The flip-side of this is if you don’t click “like”, no one will know.

Looking someone in the eye and voicing your opinion over something you feel isn’t right is hard and unfortunately can end without a big song and dance number with everyone celebrating your courage.   In fact, you may feel like you are alone on an island.

Here’s the deal – I wish there was a “like” button on this blog post, because I know there are a lot of people out there who have felt just like you will.  I am sure there are others who have voiced their concerns when it wasn’t popular, when the group didn’t agree and when they also felt alone.

I raised you so I know there will be many times when you will voice your opinion.  Now, I am hoping as your mom, and an optimist,that you will never be alone when you voice your concerns.    I am hoping that in your life you will always find a big song and dance number every time you stand up for what you feel is right with all of those around you joining in the finale.

If that’s not the case, remember you will never be alone, if you do what you feel is right, I will be there on this island along with all the people who read this and know that same feeling.  Together we can make up our own amazing song and dance number just like the movies.

 

Love,

Mom

 

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3 thoughts on “A letter to my daughter – doing what is right doesn’t always feel great.

  1. Matt Russell says:

    Reblogged this on Taking Science to the People and commented:
    Reblogging so hopefully, my daughter will read this, too. Great post!

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