Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Topic Tuesday - Stand Up For Yourself

Kelly Clarkson recently tweeted about a memoir that famed music mogul Clive Davis is publishing, painting her in a rather negative light. Kelly made a bold move upon discovering this and rebutted the various situations Mr. Davis penned as a twisting of the truth.

I have to give some major props to Kelly for standing up for herself and exposing, what seems to be, some incredibly vulnerable moments to her fans and supporters. She could have looked at the author of that memoir and said, “No way am I standing up to him.” The risk could have outweighed the value of self-defense, making it seem impossible to continue working in an industry where giants like Mr. Davis are often the controllers of careers -- image in the entertainment world is everything, and guys like Mr. Davis tend to make or break those images.

Now, I don’t know all the details of this unfortunate public dispute, but I applaud Kelly for not giving into fear or the list of “what if’s” that plague every one of us, whether we are superstars or students. She sets an example that I believe is so valuable in this world -- YOU are worth the risk.

Often times we encounter bullies and we don’t always catch that they are bullying us. Power, money, fame, status...these are all things that could easily drive any of us to stay in a situation where we are unknowingly being abused -- or are unknowingly using these things to abuse. Most people would read something like this and empathize with the abused, never thinking that we might be the offenders on our own levels. We have to realize that we are all susceptible to being either one of these characters. We may start as the abused and find ourselves on the other side of the coin within a short time, and justify our actions because we were once victims. There is nothing healthy about being a victim any more than there is health in being the villain. This is why I love what Kelly did. She did not allow herself to become a victim. She stood up for herself, not in an effort to “show him,” but because she sees the value in who she is, in what she brings to this world, and in where she’s going.

This is such an important lesson for us to take notes on. In my city, there is a significant amount of bullying, emotional abuse, and unfortunately, a high loss of life at very young ages. It breaks my heart that as a society we have so much room to grow in learning how to stand up for ourselves, for what is true, and what is right. I have endured my fair share of bullying, not only recently, but throughout my life. I refuse to be a victim. Instead, I want to learn, to teach, and to foster an environment where we can honor the one anothers in our lives without becoming doormats.

Many young students are bullied in school, online, and even at home and feel helpless because of the seeming disinterest that parents and teachers have in helping them overcome these challenges. Because of legalities and limitations, most teachers and even parents have improper and complicated hoops to jump through in order to take action against the emotional distress caused to some of these children. There are even some religions that forgo their commitments to love and instead curse those who appear to stray from the rules of their currently structured systems. Most of these children are never taught how to stand up for themselves in a healthy way. They have no one to point them towards hope, to tell them that life does get better, and even when it seems like no one is defending you, you can still defend yourself. What is more, is that heaven is defending us, even when the rest of the world seems to have abandoned us.

I’m not talking about bashing the offenders, or beating them up, or screaming at them, or even making sure they “get what they deserve.” I’m talking about genuinely believing in your value, knowing that it’s not okay to let some berate you, hurt you, and walk all over you -- no matter what their status in the world is. There is a way to do this with patience and love, and sleep well at night knowing that all of us will reap what we sow. It’s even more important to be sharing the challenges we face with people we trust -- and to the young readers out there, not just your friends. Talk to your parents, talk to counselors, talk to your pastors, talk to your teachers. These are people who know how to push through and find resources to make the changes needed. If there are too many complications in the school’s systems, guess who can help change those? Any adult around you. Know how? They can vote to make the changes, they can write the letters that the school board and city council members are legally bound to look at and take action on. There is always a way to civilly handle things, but the key is not doing it alone, and never, ever, EVER thinking you are a victim. You are only a victim if you let yourself become one.

Let’s take to heart the actions that Kelly Clarkson took. She sets a great example that it doesn’t matter how big or small, we need to be willing to stand up to the giants in our world with grace, and humility, and strength. You may loose it all, but you’ll never be able to overcome the giants if you run away from them. You are worth it. What you bring to this world is irreplaceable and worth seeing.

Until next time,

Take care of your hearts and ears!

Listen With Your Heart

1 comment:

anonymous said...

Yay, we can comment again!
Many thanks for this post, needed it when i read it, and passed it on.
Much love Alison bell God bless