Courage to speak up for someone is a rare thing. I remember feeling lower than low about myself when I was ten years old. School didn’t come easy, and my twin sister was uber-smart. I didn’t believe in myself, but my 5th grade teacher did.
Like Andy Garvey, in The Cheaters episode, I needed someone to speak up for me. I needed someone who cared. I’ll never forget how Mr. Mumford stood up for me, his words meant more than he ever knew.
Dorothy Briggs, author of Your Child’s Self Esteem, said that our sense of worth as a child is one of the top determining factors of whether we succeed or fail at life. Now I wouldn’t say that I have failed, but life was more than a bit bumpy until I started believing what my teacher believed. His words made all the difference.
When we choose words of encouragement it can change the trajectory of someone’s life.
Maybe you had an unforgettable 5th grade teacher like I did. Someone who believed in you and who wasn’t afraid to speak up in defense of your worth. Maybe it was a friend or neighbor or youth leader. The simple act of speaking up is something we all can do.
We don’t have to be teachers in a classroom setting or interact with children on the daily to make a lasting impact, even grownups need encouragement from time to time. Speak up for someone who is working extra hard and going unnoticed.
Defend a coworker, compliment a neighbor, reach out to a stranger.
First – Realize how worthwhile speaking up can be, to the person you are encouraging and for yourself.
Second – Recognize the social threats that speaking up might bring. Don’t let it stop you but be ready for some opposition.
Third – Make a plan and take action, you’ll never regret it!
Check out these inspiring stories from Compassion.com, real people on the front lines all around the world speaking up for others. Their selfless acts of love have drastically changed hundreds of lives.
I don’t need to say it, but I’m gonna. Don’t be a Nellie Oleson. Don’t look down on the people around you and manipulate them to get what you want.
Speak life not death.
Speak Courage to those who need it.
If you missed this week’s live video about speaking up for someone, visit my YouTube channel to watch.