Upstander: A person who stands up for his or her beliefs. A person who does what they think is right, even if they are alone. A person who is not a bystander.

As I was getting all settled in and cozy in my seat on the plane, heading to yet another exciting adventure when I glanced over and saw this word again….UPSTANDER.

It was written on the outside of the coffee cup being held by the women sitting next to me. It makes me smile and I’m reminded of a message that was sent to me by a friend a couple weeks ago with a photo of this word and a message that said
“this reminded of you

I really love quotes and this message was right up my alley! I instantly Googled the term (as I do most things) to see what this term was all about. Along with the definition listed above, there was an excerpt that read, “An upstander is an individual who sees wrong and acts. A person who takes a stand against an act of injustice or intolerance is not “positive bystander”, they are an UPstander.”
I would like to add that an UPstander is also not a follower. An UPstander is someone who thinks for themselves and stands up for something they KNOW and UNDERSTAND.

I was taught as a young girl to stand up for what I believe in and to always do my best to do the right thing. I think back on so many situations where I did stand up and was an UPstander, and there are also many times where I have been a bystander too.

This thought made me go even deeper… what DO I believe in enough that I would stand up and speak my mind about it? That I would stand up alone in a crowded room to proclaim…

There are plenty of things…Kindness, Patriotism, Respect, Knowledge, Justice, Honoring our Veterans, Domestic Violence, Gender Discrimination, Animal Abuse.. just to name few.
There’s a few I’d like to elaborate on…

Kindness. I certainly believe that this world is lacking kindness. I believe that people should be kind to one another. That we should go out of our way to smile, say hello, hold a door, something to connect with another human being in a positive way every day. I’m a firm believer that you get back what you put out and if more people put out kindness, this world would be a better place.

Knowledge. I also believe in thinking before you speak. I believe that people should be educated before they “take a stand” on a subject. Instead of following the crowd or only knowing half of the story, people should actually KNOW the facts about what it is they are standing up for in the first place before they take action.
If people were actually educated and understood the facts behind the things they were speaking out against, then maybe something would actually change.

And while writing this I have come to the conclusion that I also believe the majority of people who are rioting, sharing their biased political views, bashing our nation, sharing videos of people burning American flags, and plain out spreading negativity really don’t understand at all what they are REALLY doing.

It’s NOT going to make a difference. The only way to fight hate is with love.

Sharing something you see that you think is terrible, is not spreading the message that you want things to be different. Instead it’s spreading the hate of that terrible act. It’s making other people mad or sad or terrified.

If you want to see a difference in something BE AN UPSTANDER. In the true definition of the word. Don’t be the kind of person who jumps on a bandwagon, grabs a megaphone and starts spreading shit they don’t even understand themselves. Don’t spread more ignorance. Spread truth, REAL TRUTH.

I repeat, please don’t spread more ignorance. That is one thing the world is NOT lacking.

Stand up for what you believe but do so in a positive, constructive manner. THAT is what will make an impact. THAT is what will grab the attention of the people who are game changers. The people who will push for your cause. THAT is what will get you strong, determined, supportive people to join your movement.

You want to see a difference in the world, IT STARTS WITH YOU.
YOU have to be the change.

Educate people on the topic you’re standing up against. Offer solutions, changes, ideas, encouragement, and motivation.
Make the decision every day to be a better human being. Be kind to strangers. Don’t judge people by their appearance. Only spread love. Encourage others around you to do that same.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THIS WORLD or sit down and stop adding to the problems.

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