Stand Up With Determination and Hope
Monday April 4, 2011

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“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
-Winston Churchill
There are very few people in modern history who played such a crucial role in how life is lived today. Without Winston Churchill’s strength of character, winsome ability to inspire, yet at the same time speak with conviction against almost all odds, history may have written a different outcome to World War II.


I find myself continually inspired by him with the more historical and biographical information I read. Being an avid reader and continually striving to learn and explore, Churchill earned a Nobel Prize in Literature, was the painter of 535 canvases, chose instead to follow his convictions, not partisanship and even after his death (at the age of 90), he still is a pillar of what is possible no matter what you are up against.  For a boy whose father forever felt he would be a failure, Winston Churchill was the farthest thing from such a description.


With his quote above, he reveals something so many try to avoid, especially women.  And I say that because so many times it seems that women are trying to keep the peace, to be the mediator, avoid confrontation, but I believe that in being liked by everyone, we allow ourselves to vanish and become anything depending on whoever we are with.
While it is true, we must pick our battles, I do believe that we must be willing to stand up for those ideals and rights that we find fundamental to a better way of life, to doing a job most productively, and to anything else that without deteriorates at the core our ability to live our best life.


How we go about standing up for what we value is almost as important as what we are standing up for.  We must broach the subject (whether it be with our colleagues, loved ones or community) in a way that is based in sound reasoning (not just because that’s the way it was done when I was growing up, etc), respectfully and good faith.


We also, upon making the decision to stand up for what we believe in, must realize that we may lose some once thought to be coveted relationships. However, if we are being truthful, and if what we are standing up for is a priority to the foundation of how we live, than this is a reality that we must be prepared to accept.


Having said all of this, I would also advise continual education and updating on what it is that you believe in, and even more importantly, to research the other side no matter how deeply you disagree with it.  For understanding concretely exactly what the opposing argument may be, you are able to create an even sounder argument for your position.  And who knows, you may discover something you hadn’t realized that potentially changes your opinion of the other side for better or for worse.


The key is to always seek knowledge, keep an open mind and once you have done this, you can stand firmly behind what you believe knowing you have done it with a clear and sound mind with valid reasons.


As Churchill teaches us, no matter what your situation, no matter how many times you are shoved aside, never allow cynicism to detour you, always believe that things can improve if you have the courage to do the dirty work and never stop learning, reading and trying new things.

8 thoughts on “Stand Up With Determination and Hope

  1. Wonderful post Shannon.
    His messages and teachings really were timeless. A few of todays European politicians could do with taking a “few” leaves from his book!
    p.s there is a wonderful statue of Winston Churchill near my home in the UK where he was leader of that constituency for a long time.It was always a must for expeditions when I was at school.


    I think this is such an important lesson. It is not about being shouty, contrary or difficult. As women we too often are the appeasers.

    You put it very well by saying that in trying to be liked by everyone we vanish.

    I wish more people (even some men, though rare) would realise that being liked is not everything. I have seen so many instances where people think are “liked” by people but are in no way respected by them.

    It takes strength to stick to your guns. Although, as you say, an educated stance is important rather than a merely dogged one.

    BRAVA for such a well observed post.

  3. Great post..and I think the part about always seeking knowledge and basically to never stop learning is so true…the day you stop is the day your mind turns to total mush and you stop evolving as a person.

  4. Boy did I need this today! I had a recent setback in my career and have been trying to get up the courage to start again on a new track. Thanks!

  5. Well said. I recently read “When the student is ready the Teacher appears” The message relayed in your post today has been on my mind a lot lately. Merci for being my teacher…

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