"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope; those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
- Robert F. Kennedy
A friend posted this link on Facebook the other day about how a girl came home from school and told her father how her day went. At lunch, two girls she was sitting with were talking about churches and asked a third girl where she went. The third girl said she didn't go to church and didn't really believe in god. They asked the story teller the same thing and she identified as an atheist and a humanist. The third girl gave her a look of relief that she wasn't the only one. The two church goers were amazed that everyone wasn't Christian.
This story is interesting to me because two teenagers stood up for what they believe in.
It only takes one voice, one dissenter, one breaking away from the pack to help others realize that they don't have to be in the pack. Look at almost any movie with bullies, from the Ant Bully to Mean Girls to Pump Up the Volume and a host of others, to see that once one person stands up to the norm, makes their voice heard, the rest will fall away from the 'ideal' and go their own way.
I try to follow this as much as I can. This is why I support Pagan Pride Day and gay rights organizations. This is probably why I have broken down some of my shy tendencies. I feel so much better when I speak up for myself than when I am squirming in silence.
My hope for my kiddo is that he never needs to worry about how others view his opinion, his religion or non-religion, and that he can be himself, no matter what happens.