Earlier this week my youngest son left a note to tell my husband and me that he was gay. To some of my friends, I became an immediate advocate for gay rights. Not that I don’t support equal rights for all, it’s just that long time ago I realized that the world was bigger than any issue or cause I might serve.
You often support issues that are close to your heart. I am an advocate for child safety because after my mother’s death, I encountered a number of child predators (known as family). There are illnesses that have either touched me personally or someone I know so when I see events for those causes, I want to support them.
Naturally I would want to support my son in any way I can. However, my cause is greater than any one event, issue or trial that I or my family is facing. I fight for rights. I believe that hurt is hurt and therefore the cause or the reason for the hurt does not matter.
My fight is just for goodness, compassion and self-accountability. While you might be touched by a cause personally, it’s only when you care about someone else’s cause would yours matter.
We live in a “me” society. “Look what I’ve been through.” “You don’t understand MY pain.” Even at work, I marvel when one individual thinks his experience trumps the sum of everyone else’s.
When we blindly fight for our own causes, the rest of the world does not listen because they are fighting for their own. I believe that in order for you to get someone to care, you must care about someone else. As long as we are all banging pots, we can’t hear each other nor can we appreciate each other’s causes.
Like any parent, I will support my children and their causes. As an individual, I will support issues that have directly or indirectly impacted my life. But none of this trumps compassion nor fighting for what’s right. What’s right is that we all want to be validated. What is right is standing up for rights when you are in a room full of wrongs. What’s right is the willingness to hear just like you want to be heard. What’s right is caring about something that goes beyond your experiences. That’s when the world starts changing in a way that will all but guarantee that you will leave it in a better place than it was when you first got here.