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Taking a Stand

 Take a Stand

Rabbi Evan Moffic, in his illuminating article 20 Things You Can Learn About Leadership From Moses writes;

“Moses is raised in Pharaoh’s palace. He is a prince of Egypt. According to the Talmud, he doesn't leave the palace until age 15. But when he leaves, he sees slave-masters beating his fellow Israelites. His illusions are shattered. He knows all is not right with the world.

He decides he cannot remain who he was. He needs to challenge slavery. He needs to take a stand against injustice.

This is the first major test of Moses' leadership. He is, to use a different re- ligious idea, “born again.” The Prince of Egypt” because an Israelite again.

All leaders, as my teacher Howard Haas says, “need to be born again.”

What experiences led you to become a leader? Have you been born again?”

 

What does “taking a stand” mean?

Sounds easy, looks easy, but I think it is far from either of those. It means saying or doing something you really believe in and standing firm. Believing in it and doing something about it, is the key – words devoid of action are only empty words. There are many people out there that have opinions and sometimes extraordinarily strong opinions on everything under the sun but do precious little to support those opinions.

Taking a stand also involves change. Changing what has been done for a long time, said forever, common idioms, and what “group think” supports is a hard act to do. Especially when it is people close to you, your family, and friends. Telling them something is not acceptable, telling them no is often the hardest thing to do but must be done. Change is never easy.

It only takes one person to take a stand, to motivate others to follow, and then change (hopefully for the better) is exacted. Look at Rosa Parks, India’s freedom, Tiananmen Square, and Martin Luther to name a few. Change can happen but you must “take a stand”, especially if it is for yourself.

 

Is it worth taking a stand?

There should be many questions that flood your mind when you think of taking a stand.

  1. It is worth fighting for?
  2. Am I worth it? At least some people will ask that, and the answer is if it is something that is important to you or can affect you, then you are always worth it.
  3. Is this an emotional issue or a logical one? Emotion will give you a why but not always a good reason. If it is logical and makes sense to improve a condition it is always worth it.
  4. Whatever it will cost me is it worth it to me. Losing your loved ones, your employees, your boss, your money, or your self-respect all factor into it.

Jesus said, “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:21-22

If YES, then do something about it!

How can you demonstrate your support and believe in “your stand”?

 

If there is something you passionately disagree or agree with, rhetoric is not the best way to demonstrate your belief. Define the underlying problems and look for solutions, from there sharing your solutions and as the saying attributed to Gandhi, “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Words are strong but actions speak louder. Force is strong but walking away can be stronger. Examples of this in history is the French artists in the 1800s who rebelled against the salons by not supporting them. Salons at the time were the only way of selling their work so it was a gutsy move. Another example was the ballet dancers in Russia who felt the state did not have their best interest at heart, so they defected, which was an exceedingly difficult thing to do – leaving the family, friends, and colleagues behind.

Yet, words are where we begin. Creating a strong narrative is essential. Working the challenge out on paper and then finding solutions go a long way to defining the problem and formulating an answer. They also help to define you, especially when you are being authentic and transparent.

Key elements to remember.

  1. Keep an open mind – nothing stops dialogue or progress faster than closing your mind to both sides of the issue.
  2. Try to stay emotionally arm's length from the issue. As I mentioned before, your emotions will propel you but if you take things personally this will derail you.
  3. If you are even slightly on the fence ask yourself, “will this make me feel better about myself or will it add more stress to my plate? By taking a stand it does promote a strong sense of self and self-respect.
  4. Everyone is in a position to take a stand, no matter who or where you are. Good examples are Mother Theresa, Dr. Jane Goodall, President Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Terry Fox, Malala Yousafzi, Greta Thunberg and I am sure that you know many others in your community.

Conclusion

Leadership comes from anyone, in any position, from any country who is willing to take the risk to stand for something and exact a positive change in the world whether it is large or small. You don’t have to be extroverted, charismatic, domineering, perpetually positive, or talented in anything. In essence, the best leader is one who wants to serve.

Yes, serve others to make life better for everyone. You see something wrong, fix it. The only way you can see to fix it is to Take a Stand.

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.

 

I would really like your opinions and thoughts, please share them in the comments section below. Also, if you liked the article please share it

 

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Bibliography

Amanda Hendrey, L. O. (2017). Taking a stand in History. Retrieved from NHD: https://www.nhd.org/sites/default/files/2017-Theme-Narrative-Sample-Topics_0.pdf

Blumenthal, B. (2021, January 2). 5 Reasons to Stand up for Your Beliefs. Retrieved from Sheer Balance: https://sheerbalance.com/5-reasons-to-stand-up-for-your-beliefs/

Busch, M. (2021, January 2). How to Take a Stand While Maintaining Your Relationships. Retrieved from May Bush: https://maybusch.com/how-to-take-stand/

Ignant, C. (2017, May 12). What Does It Look Like To Stand Up For What’s Right? Retrieved from kqed: https://www.kqed.org/education/483645/what-does-it-look-like-to-stand-up-for-whats-right

Kruse, K. (2013, April 9). What Is Leadership? Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/?sh=4a6b65505b90

Moffic, R. E. (2015, 1 2). 20 Things You Can Learn About Leadership From Moses . 20 Things You Can Learn About Leadership From Moses . Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Patel, D. (2017, April 4). 10 Powerful Ways to Stand Up for Yourself in Any Situation. Retrieved from Success: https://www.success.com/10-powerful-ways-to-stand-up-for-yourself-in-any-situation/

Tervooren, T. (2021, 1 2). How to Take a Stand and Change the World. Retrieved from riskology: https://www.riskology.co/how-to-take-a-stand-and-change-the-world/

Twist, L. (2021, January 2). Taking a Stand. Retrieved from Awakin: https://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=2098