Kind Promise: I will advocate courageously.

PaintingWhen I am feeling sorry for myself and counting my limitations, I wonder about letting go of this promise. It seems like work, after all, and I’m not too full of energy these days.

Then I think about people whose advocacy changed the world. I took a break from writing to remind myself of civil rights activists, disability rights activists, and so on. My online research got bigger and bigger and I started to feel small, insignificant and exhausted.

I took a break to eat my lunch and sit in the sun with my small dog. Suddenly there was a snarl and a rush of movement. A squirrel had crept up on our deck and was heading for the front door. My dog successfully chased it away.

Advocacy can be this simple: show up and speak out.

“What next?” I wondered. The words “stand strong” passed through my mind, but didn’t feel right.

“Except when you don’t,” offered my compassionate, Dr. Seuss mind. “Because sometimes you won’t.” And sometimes you shouldn’t because sometimes you will be wrong.

Show up, speak out and… Listen and think and respond compassionately. That doesn’t have much of a ring to it, does it? How about:

Show up. Speak out. Act with compassion.