Sometimes, even with the affirmation of you out in blog land, I wonder if I'm over sensitive and tinge my opinions with self-righteousness. I don't want to be 'that guy'. I was thinking about my letters to politicians, my blog posts, my calls to others for help. I had just hung up from speaking with Special Olympics Ontario who were eager to participate in the campaign to demand public apology from one politician and a retraction of an electronic postcard with hateful language from another. I had a stunning moment of self doubt.
I remembered I wanted to pick up a book at the bookstore. I headed into the store and was steering carefully by a row of shoppers sitting and reading. One of them was a young man with a very pleasant face who was sitting looking like he was waiting for someone. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It took me a second to register. He was wearing a lime-green plastic bracelet, the kind that is used for both fundraising and awareness. A few feet later, it struck me ...
As Vita was gearing up the 'Words Hit' campaign we had some bracelets made up so that we could give them out at events like the Pride parade and eventually make them available on our website. The colour was suspiciously like the one the young man was wearing. It couldn't be ...
So I drove by a couple times, probably looking like a stalker so I pulled up to him and said, 'I notice you are wearing a bracelet,' before I could continue he began to speak. He told me that he'd got the bracelet at the Gay Pride march. I was thrilled that he could say that out loud, in public, without embarrassment or fear of reprisal, we've come a long way. He further told me that his younger sister has Down Syndrome and that he discovered that she was being brutally teased by other kids at school and that he wore it for her.
As we talked it was clear how much he loved his sister. He had been surprised, thinking everyone saw her as he did, that she was a victim of such verbal abuse. She was so concerned about her family that she never told them. He discovered it when he surprised her at school, waiting to pick her up. What he saw astonished him. They've had many discussions and he showed her the bracelet, she is thrilled he's wearing it.
Sometimes I doubt myself but then I remember ...
Like a Fist
Great post Dave. I know what you mean about those doubts. Bracelets seem like a great idea - is there anyway I could get one?
Emma, we are looking at putting them on the website at some time, keep an eye on the blog and I'll let you know. It was so great seeing it and the conversation that resulted from it.
glad the universe provided some reassurance at a time when you were struggling with honest self doubts. it's that struggling that helps prevent you from becoming "over the top" in advocacy.
Please don't doubt yourself. We need you out here. And, the world is a better place because you are in it!
small acts of resistence are powerful.
Dace, you do good work and, frankly, I have never thought you over reacted.
Well, it's like any kind of activism. I'm a feminist, I'm an educated stay-at-home mom, I'm a member of the Militant Breastfeeding Cult, I'm a homeschooler. I'm probably not that nice to be around sometimes, maybe not easy to talk to, because I flog these same horses over and over. I'm sure people roll their eyes about me all the time. BUT, the pendulum has to swing too high in BOTH directions before it can settle down in the middle somewhere.
I always figure, if you never doubted yourself, you'd be insufferable. We have a word for people who are convinced of their own rightness, and it is "megalomaniac".
lovely story Dave.
Don't doubt what you are doing.
You inspire me.
Did you get my email?
moplans, I don't think I did, I've got a lot though, was the name moplans used on the email?
I would love one of those green bracelets! Hope it does end up on the website!
One person CAN change the world.
Keep at it, Dave! There's a growing wake behind you, your colleagues and friends...
we have your back.
Wow, rather cool post. Where will I find your subscription?
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