I was always taught that “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” - meaning know what matters to you, what you stand for (what you know as right or wrong. ) I (we) were told to take those values- those beliefs, and speak them proudly. MORE than that – LIVE THEM in your life; DEMONSTRATE what you believe through your actions. In doing all those things, you also needed to have some defense of your position. Sometimes it may be based on religion (Thou shall not steal). Other times there may be based on experience (I manage & lead people as I would want my ‘boss’ to treat me). Maybe it’s more historical (‘…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”). But NEVER was I told it was good to take a stand purely because ‘it was all about me’ and forget how it affects the rest.
To me the basis of my values- philosophies, was really about not doing harm to others, but rather how this position could help more than just you.
Sadly in my life, I have seen too many times where others either have ignored these teachings or were taught very differently. Too many people look at ‘what’s in it for me?’ Too many times have I seen those that care only about their outcome regardless even when others are harmed. Still worse is that with my own ears I have heard them justify rather than defend why they acted that way. The sounds of the two are most definitely different. Despite being confronted with this repeatedly in life- in school, at work, from celebrities or politicians; (are you nodding in agreement?); I still hold onto what makes me- well, me. So even when the odds are against me, I know I only have one choice.