A sign caught my eye this morning. I saw these words, “standing against…” and I do not recall what followed. I was so surprised to see “standing against” that the rest of it got by me. I started to reflect on what “standing for” or “standing against” might really mean to so many people, especially at this time in our collective history.

Somewhere in my past, I recall someone saying, “if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.” Hmmm. I thought at the time. It made perfect sense to me, as I was pretty sure what I stood for. I felt I knew what was right and what was wrong, at the time.

Back to the subject at hand, here. Standing for something seems to feel more empowering. It’s as if we are summoned by love to stand for someone, some thing, some belief, some feeling. Standing against something might also feel empowering. It’s as if it is summoned from a place of fear and anger; as if to say, “I’m not going to take it anymore!”

I am reminded of the word resistance as I continue to ponder these in the context of what is happening in our world. In many places, resistance seems to be on the minds of many and is acted upon related to specific subject matter or topic. In fact, resistance has been used as a rallying cry by many to engage, incite or otherwise encourage others to rise up “against” something.

Perhaps the words of Thomas Jefferson serve as a call to embolden many and explain the rise of resistance:

When injustice becomes law, resistance become duty.

 – Thomas Jefferson

There are many who feel that they are standing UP when they stand against and resist what they perceive is being foisted upon them.


And then, these words call to a different way of being regarding resistance, force and fear.

. . . gentleness is stronger than severity, water is stronger than rock, love is stronger than force.

 – Hermann Hesse

There are many who feel that standing for something is standing UP, as well.



Is it best to stand for or stand against?

I leave that to you to decide for yourself.

Can we change a negative (resist) narrative to a positive (peace) one, perhaps by simply looking at an issue from a different angle?

“It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.”
– Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha


With gratitude to Loco’s Photos for consent to use these beautiful photographs.

12 thoughts on “standing

    • Thank you, Val. I tend to stand FOR what I believe in or feel strongly about, too. Those who stand against many things have their reasons, and I honor their beliefs and choices. I find the terms an interesting juxtaposition in a broader sense. Being against and resistance…feel like heat or very hot. Being for and supporting feel cooler, and open to possibility. I appreciate opinions which may not necessarily align with mine, as that is another way for me to learn about what is at the heart of so many differing beliefs.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Such a thoughtful reflection, Carrie, and it makes me wonder again about the power of synchronicity. My students are currently reading a text for class – “Getting Things Done when You Are Not in Charge.” Many of them have commented on one of the key points the author, Geoffrey Bellman (2001), makes. It is wiser to work toward shared visions than to fight against problems. I remember reading something Rolling Thunder and Gandhi said but I don’t remember the exact quotes. They observed that what we focus on matters. Motivated by the passion to create “the best we can imagine” is transformative, as is the passion to fight against injustice with self-righteousness. One builds community and the other leaves a legacy of anger and divisiveness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for this powerful observation and comment, Carol. Synchronicity…yes. I’m always grateful for these moments, when they occur. I recall bristling at the word and concept of resistance at the beginning of the term of the sitting President. What we resist, persists. Openness leads to listening. Listening leads to collaboration and we can change so much about our collective experience by simply softening, becoming more open and expecting a better outcome. I know that what we focus on expands. So why not focus on a positive approach to the challenges in our current milieu? Building community is the better alternative to unconsciously contributing to divisiveness. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • Very thought-provoking, Carrie. I’ve been resisting (ha!) the idea of resisting (or being part of a resistance). I hadn’t thought about why until reading your post. I would rather stand UP for something than stand AGAINST, building instead of tearing down.

    Thank you for clarifying that for me. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Robin. I’m glad this helped. I have watched the ongoing focus on resistance and have concluded that indeed, what is resisted, persists. Moving forward and standing up FOR something more positive truly makes a difference. ❤️🌞


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