I STAND

Inspiring transformation will ignite discomforts.

With the praise will come the critique, especially from those who
will not offer a solution,
are engaged in the oldest of traditions, and
believe their rituals are the only way.

Reality is that outside of a small number of men,
we get no hatred,
no vitriol emails, and
few to no trolling comments online.

This discovery does not make me better than those few men who speak their disagreements.
This discovery simply opens the door to help me consider WHY and WHERE they come from,
… to consider how to engage that particular person;
… to do so without losing my own voice and being; and
… through authenticity that is filled with love, compassion, and respect for all.

Why do the “few” who speak out with disagreement matter to me?
Because I choose to believe they matter.
I ask people to treat each person as someone who deserves
the basic dignity and respect of a fellow human being.

“Each person” means those who agree and those who disagree with me.

Regardless of how you view me or my words, I stand for YOU.
Your words may stagger me.
I will stand for you.
I will work harder to find a way to engage you, to connect with you,
and to hear you.

While standing for you, I will stand for all, including myself.

Sometimes I will fail. I will catch myself reacting with
an energy that does not lead with love and compassion.
I will acknowledge that moment and commit to finding a better way
going forward.

For each day the journey to stand for dignity and respect starts anew.

Starting with patience, understanding, and passion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

i-stand-for

Your Online Voice

Do you ever find yourself holding back?

You see something on Facebook you want to share and think,
But if I do, Person A is going to be disappointed in me.

Voice

What do most of us do next? Is our choice impacted by who Person A is? A boss, a friend, a parent.

Is it possible your boss, family member, or close friend will be disappointed in your post?
Yes.

And so sometimes . . . I didn’t post the comment or image. Fear would hold me captive. I’d make up a story of disappointment that I didn’t even know was true – to stop me from sharing the post or making the comment.
I still posted a lot of comments, stories, videos, and/or images – just not the ones I thought could be “too” controversial – even when I may have believed in the message being shared. I feared judgement and/or disappointment.

Have you ever done this? You really liked a post and strongly believed in it. And you didn’t share it?

Then the irony struck me.

In my work with The DATE SAFE Project, I sometimes get brought in specifically to have conversations many people can be uncomfortable engaging in.
And I do not hold back.
Sometimes might an audience member disagree with me? Yes.
And while I engage that person with respect, I do not hold back.
Why?
Because I believe in what I am saying in that moment and in the value of the message we are discussing.

To be authentic means to be our truest voice in every aspect of our lives – to face any fears of judgement and choose to move forward being honest with ourselves. For me, the key has always been to do so with respect.

“With respect” does not mean I will say and/or share in a way that never bothers another person. While I do my best to be aware of the potential consequences of my words (to do no harm), I cannot know how everyone will interpret my words at all times.
For me, “with respect” means doing my best to lead conversations with love and compassion for all.

Whether it be on social media (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, etc..) or in-person, may each of us speak openly and be true to what we know, feel, and believe in. May we always do our best to share our voice with respect – with love and compassion for all. And to do so freely.

Your voice matters. Honor it!

P.S. Are you thinking, “Mike, what about the people who engage me online and do not do so with respect, love or compassion for all?” Unfollow the person. You have the right to choose who’s newsfeed you look at. Surround yourself with the people you want to surround yourself with.

Share your voice and thoughts below in the COMMENTS section.