A Little Thought – 2017 Week 3

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

(You can see more of Dr. King’s quotes and wonderful photos at Robin’s blog.)

I am not a brave person. I wasn’t brought up to be one. I was born in one of those gray periods in Chinese history. Leaving Mainland China and relocating to Taiwan, people faced a lot of uncertainties. Separating from their families (parents, siblings…), they carried a huge load of sadness and guilt. My parents, I believe, had made a conscious decision not to talk about their past. I didn’t hear a thing about my grandparents until I turned 40. I must have sensed something that was not quite right. Ever since I was little, even though nothing bad had happened, I had this unsafe feeling deep inside. Conflicts and controversies frightened me.

Because I am not brave, I particularly admire courageous people like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Park… etc. I wish I could/would be like them.

Still, when my daughter told me she was going to participate a march for women’s right, my instant reaction, in my head, was, “Oh no.”

Demonstration was not allowed when I grew up. One could be put in jail for doing so. Hearing what my daughter said, I paused, trying not to say anything that I would regret, and, at the same time, trying to control the fear that started running all over me.

“Really?” I finally said.

Unlike me, my daughter grew up in America. She doesn’t have any problem to stand up for her beliefs.

“Yes, I already bought the flight ticket,” she said.

We didn’t discuss further. For the rest of the week, I kept thinking about the rally, feeling somewhat uneasy. Then I remembered Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Park, and Nelson Mandela. I had always wondered where they got their courage and questioned “aren’t they afraid? Not even a little bit?”

For many years, I had convinced myself that they were made differently. There were people like them and people like me. Something in their DNA, it appeared to be. Now I looked at my daughter. I knew DNA wasn’t it.

I think it’s time for this mother to grow up. It’s time for me to step out of my comfort zone. I can never be like Martin Luther King or Rosa Park, but I may be able to walk next to my daughter next time.

Yes, I can picture it. 😉

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in random thoughts, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to A Little Thought – 2017 Week 3

  1. Jet Eliot says:

    The courage of others is an inspiration always, century after century. Thank you for this beautiful post, Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    I know there are going to be a lot of rally’s this week. Chris thought about to going to a women’s rally in Portland. I feel much like you do. Portland got into riots (all be it only at night) over the election. I can’t imagine what could happen with the inauguration and ensuing weeks. There is power in numbers though and this will be a powerful adventure for your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    I used to march when I was young but I admit to being more nervous now, and less sure of what it achieves. However, I admire your daughter and all young people who feel moved to stand up for their rights. They are our future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Anabel. You are right. The older I get, the easier for me to get nervous. I forgot about that part. ha.
      I don’t know if I were right. It seems that nowadays people are easier to get agitated. Too many unnecessary hurting.
      Have a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mother Hen says:

    Helen, for those of us less courageous and older in age, we can use our writers voice, just as you have done. My sister and I were not necessarily raised in a household where we were encouraged to reach for the stars, using that as an example, and it limited our ability to step out of our comfort zone. This is beautifully said and you are courageous by being transparent. ps I have some thoughts brewing on the subject of reaching… Love your photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Roberta. I always wanted to be a brave person, but I am not ;-( You were right about writing though. I handle most of my conflicts through writing, and that actually worked quite well. ;-).
      Can’t wait to read about your post on reaching.
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mother Hen says:

        Thank you Helen! I actually started a new blog at blogger. For some reason even though I have written some things here I feel a little inhibited. I think that’s the right word. Anyway I feel freer there because no one knows I am there.. so funny! I decided that I was just going for it and not worry about my corny stuff.. just do it…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          When did you start the new blog? No wonder there was a period of time I didn’t see a lot of your post!
          I know what you mean. It’s nice to feel free. I finally solved that problem by setting myself free. As you can see that I don’t post regularly and my subject kept changing. Ha.
          I, actually, started at blogger. (I think I deleted my blog there.) I don’t remember why I moved to here. I think I just wanted to try something new. Then I stayed.
          I am not sure how to follow at blogger. If it’s ok with you, I do like to visit you there 😉 Should I give you my email? 😉
          Have a wonderful evening.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mother Hen says:

            Yes, Helen that will work. It’s pretty humble but my hope is to improve. I have been at blogger before but gave up. Discouragement comes easy to me. If I have your email I can send the link to you. Thank you Helen for your support!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Helen C says:

            First, I want to say that you’ve totally underestimated how good you are as a blogger. You are friendly; you are nice; and you care.
            Second, I want to tell you a secret… life is too short, so I won’t let anyone discourage me. I am busy living my life that I really don’t have time to pay attention to any discouraging words. Ha. So, be yourself and be happy, my dear friend. I may not be a brave person, but I am happy who I am. (And I will try to be braver.)
            My email is: hhw.chen@gmail.com
            Good night.

            Like

      • Mother Hen says:

        I have actually had to get braver in order for me to take the train to visit one of my daughters. If I didn’t do it I would not get to visit. I took a trip in November. One time I went to Chicago when she lived there and that was a big deal for me.. I am not one to fly on my own because I don’t have experience..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. loisajay says:

    Helen, I think you are braver than you think, but in different ways than others. I am excited for your daughter. We all have our own ways of expressing ‘bravery.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Lois. Everyone needs a friend like you! I feel braver after reading your comment 😉 I sure benefit a lot from your positive energies.
      I probably worry too much. I should be excited for my daughter, too. And I am going to.. 😉
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Like

  6. Mabel Kwong says:

    We all have a right to stand up to a voice and our rights. Your daughter is brave (not sure where she is flying too?) to speak up for her rights. When I lived in Malaysia, marches like these were always approached with caution and in a way, I felt that suffocating. Today some of us live in such a freerer and lucky world, and I think we have to make most of it and help stand up for others too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Mabel. You are right that we have to make most of it and help stand up for others too. I shouldn’t let fear-from-the-past limit how I behave now. It may still take a while, but I am sure I will get there 😉
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lady Oscar says:

    Being a brave person is not fun . . . haha. sometimes people expect way too much on a brave person. “Because you always walk or run ahead of others,” people will say that, “so you go first, and we will see what is going on…”
    Be yourself. ^^
    Practicing Buddhism is a good practice to be a brave person — because we all need to face our fear, ignorance, and selfishness… and it is a lonely journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pilgrim says:

    Admitting that you are not braves is a great sign of courage. That you have!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. prior.. says:

    oh right on – next time walking with her….
    and I enjoyed this post very much, H.
    I am going to robin’s blog link now… but I like the MLK quote you chose too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Y. I really like the first photo on Robin’s blog. I kept staring at it…
      One’s growing up environment has a lot to do with who he or she later becomes, yes? The hard part is to recognize that and change it (if necessary).
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • prior.. says:

        well said (about the change and all) – and that first photo gripped me as well. The clouds lined up in a way to honor him – and that blue in the sky – and the shape of the clouds had a pulled out feeling… hm

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Joanne Sisco says:

    Helen, I could really relate to how you feel. I don’t like conflict. I don’t like disagreements, and controversy. I could feel your anxiety, because I would share it.
    I often worry about whether I would stand up in a time of real crisis. I hope I’ll never be tested.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amy says:

    In many ways, my daughter is strong mentally, but she will never go rally or marching, not because she fears anything though 🙂 Enjoyed reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Inese Poga Art plus Life says:

    The hugest courage is keeping going when one cannot actually do that. Realistically, courage is facing every single day with it’s challenges. I don’t think there are absolutely brave people, but some people can overcome their fears and they are able to make goals that benefit others their top priority. https://inesepogalifeschool.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Inese. You are absolutely right. For many years I thought those brave people were simply born that way. Then I realized that they had fear too, and, like you said, they were able to overcome their fears.
      >> they are able to make goals that benefit others their top priority.
      I haven’t thought of this. Thank you! I learn something and I am so happy.
      Good night.

      Like

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Helen, first I think you should change the title for ‘big thought’, and second you are brave my dear, not like people that want to change a country, but in your own way, I’m sure you had/have your own battles. Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: A Little Thought – Pain To Power

  15. restlessjo says:

    I hope you do, Helen! That’s a wonderful thought. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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