I just finished reading The Invention of Wings. It is fiction, yet fiction rooted in truth about an American woman striving for the abolition of slaves in the early 1800s. Because of her beliefs – vastly different from the societal norm at the time – she alienates herself from her family and puts her safety at risk. Her story is juxtaposed by the story of one of the slaves working for the family. Both women’s stories are heartbreaking and yet hopeful, too.

This book got me thinking about courage. And I wonder… how many people questioned or even abhorred the use of slaves but stayed silent? How many in our society today have the courage to speak their minds against the status quo?

I think of a sign in my office (passed down from a principal I admire greatly) that says, “Stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.”

I would like to think that I have the courage to stand up for what I believe in. I would hope that I inspire children to do the same. I strive to be a person of integrity who means what she says and says what she means. Someone who values individuals: their stories, their backgrounds, their distinctiveness. Someone who stands up for what is right, even if I happen to be standing alone.

I am, most definitely, a work in progress.

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