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Step up and be an advocate

May 4, 2017
Shepherdstown Chronicle

Country music star Aaron Tippin put it best in song when he said "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." And standing for something means getting out there and supporting a cause, ideal or practice. Becoming an advocate for what you believe in is a privilege in this country and should be an automatic practice.

It doesn't matter whether it is a political ideal, a social issue or somewhere in between. If each individual doesn't promote opinions and support the issue or ideal then no change can be affected. And without change there is only stagnancy and often, misery.

The definition of advocacy is the act of speaking on the behalf of or in support of another person, place, or thing; the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. It doesn't mean one has to seek political office or appear in front of the masses - advocating for a cause can be done on any scale.

Whether one's passion falls in supporting national issues such as the right to life movement or equal rights for the transgender community or a speciifc local topic such as literacy or a better park system in the county, no strides can be made if folks are silent on the issues.

Influening decisions and making change happen is the responsibility of every citizen and it can only be done through involvement and sharing of ideas. It takes more than voicing complaints about any given situation to make that situation better. So take a stand! Join a group that promotes what you believe in; know the local, state and national issues that affect where you live and make your voice heard if decisions made are not in line with where you believe they should be.

At the very least, vote in every election possible so that you take ownership in decisions made on your behalf. That ownership allows each of us to call for accountability from decision makers that we can't take claim to if we aren't involved in the process. It doesn't take being an office holder to be an advocate-we all can and should help influence decisions by standing up for what we believe. We should never simply "fall for anything."

 
 
 

 

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