“…life had begun to go so fast that accepting would take the place of knowing and believing”
I ran across this quote this morning while reading Light in August by William Faulkner. It made me think, why do people, more often than not, lose their fighting spirits as they age??
During my undergrad years, it seems like organizers could get a majority of our campus to protest nearly anything deemed unjust. We protested so much, we had a running joke that we’d have a protest against death and after that, we’d protest a protest. What happened to all of these people who stood up against any and everything that didn’t seem fair??
According to Faulkner, life happened to them. But I can’t accept that. I believe fear happened.
Much of adult life is about security. We have responsibilities – people and things in our lives that make us feel accomplished and therefore secure. We’re scared to do anything that may compromise the well-being of these responsibilities. As a result, we go to the extreme of not standing up for ourselves. I feel this is learned behavior.
I had a recent experience on my job where I was demanding to be respected as a professional. A human resources representative who is probably about twice my age tried to talk me down because of the waves it would cause my highly-visible office. I got the, “Just have faith and let God take care of it, Baby” argument. Me and God have a pretty good relationship and I trust Him to handle it, but I don’t think He wants me to sit idly by and do nothing but wait. Nothing would ever get accomplished if everybody did this. I ignored the fear that was trying to be instilled in me and kept on my path. So far, everything has worked out in my favor.
As with anything else, I think it’s about balance. There are ways to stand up for what you know and believe to be right without crossing into territory that may be hazardous or into territory that forces you to accept the unacceptable. Let’s relearn behavior and teach it to the youth. Let's stop populating this cycle of fear, it's not good for anything but holding us back.