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