“That’s not a hill I want to die on,” I said as I took a sip of my water and adjusted the napkin in my lap. When did this happen? Today, yesterday, everyday.
Everyday we are faced with hills that we make a choice to climb or not to climb. And it got me wondering, how do we make those choices?
It’s true, I don’t get worked up when I can’t find a parking spot because there’s nothing I can do about it but keep looking. I don’t get frustrated when I receive an email in a professional setting that is written in a less than professional tone, as long as it isn’t rude I chose not to expend my energy there. But sometimes I notice there are hills that I inwardly feel passionate about, and outwardly express nothing.
That outward expression of nothing – is really, actually something. Lack of action does not equal lack of involvement, in fact it indicates that you are perfectly okay with things the way they are – so carry on. You not adding your voice to a long list of others does not do nothing, it makes one less voice fighting for what you believe in, and one less voice for those you disagree with to fight. My apathy has become the response and the response is that it is okay, because I have chosen not to die on that hill today.
Sometimes we don’t take action or speak up because we don’t want people to judge us. In a world of mass produced likes and shares and re-tweets it is hard to put yourself out there without some sort of opposing response. Are we so afraid of people who disagree with us, that we would rather remain silent, or is that we don’t know enough or believe enough in the cause?
When I scroll past a story about a young woman’s powerful victim statement to her rapist who received a slap on the wrist, or a story about young girls being kidnapped in Nigeria, or about the current number of human beings currently held as slaves across the world, or the poor treatment of animals and I do nothing I actually become the problem.
But really, how powerful can a voice and words be?
Words have been used throughout history to incite change. Martin Luther King Jr said:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
First of all, talk about a man who used words to incite change, talking about the need to stand up on that hill when there is something worth standing for.
There are reasons that people avoid hills. They are tough, always an incline, difficult to see the top, and take a lot of effort to climb. But there are times in life when we need to decide something is worth the effort. It doesn’t mean that every hill is yours to climb, that is far too exhausting, but it does mean there are some hills worth finding your feet on.
When it comes to hills, no one is asking you to die, but it would be nice, if once in a while we actually stood on one. Some people are incredible at picking hills, and I commend those of you who have found something worth fighting for, I’d like to say I have found my best hill, but I’m still searching. In the meantime however I have decided that there are times when I need to add my voice to the long list, to lend my support. I know that this could cause some unfollows, some uncomfortable conversations, and some challenges, but sometimes climbing hills is really about living in those moments and accepting the challenge.
We are one week away from launching the #GrowthZone podcast where we celebrate those people who do take a stand on hills, not only taking a stand but pushing boulders up the hill to make a change, regardless of how many times they get pushed back down. Stay tuned for more information, as we celebrate our first guest, Melissa McKeachnie, co-founder of C.A.R.E (Canadian Animal Rights Education) in her pursuit of making the world a safer place for animals.