When I was younger, there was a song on the radio that said “you’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.” I have always taken that to heart and believed that everybody should have something for which they are willing to take a stand. Lately, it seems, that my cause has been championing the plight of children with Attention Deficit Disorder. I have watch my 15-year-old daughter struggle her entire life with a disorder that many people do not believe actually exists. I can tell you, no I can assure you, it most certainly does. To see a child who has tested as a genius repeatedly call herself stupid and actually believe it, down to her very soul, is heart wrenching. My daughter has spent years being taunted by her peers because she rarely picks up on and understands concepts the first time around, asks many questions, and sometimes ends up being trapped in her own little world. As we begin the journey toward college, I have to fight every instinct I have as a mother and remind myself that she needs to learn to do things on her own and stand up for herself.
While this issue seems very large in my mind right now, I know that there are far greater issues being faced by those around me. I live in a very small town that is part of a slightly larger community known as the Bay Hundred. Right now, the Bay Hundred is experiencing an illegal drug epidemic; and just this week, we lost another one of our young people to this monster. A local group of mothers is forming a coalition to fight this war that is raging in our community. In fact, the name they have chosen is STAND – Standing Together Against Needless Deaths. This is a very scary time in the life of our community as we have seen many young men and women fall victim to this predator over the past couple of years. These young people come from the wealthiest and the poorest homes, both public and private schools, and single as well as two-parent families. It is a monster that cares not whom its prey is nor whom they could become.
We are faced every day with the decision to stand up or stand by. Whether the issue is political, religious, life-threatening, or simply life-changing, we should all fee obligated to take a stand and have a cause. What will you stand up for today?