Several weeks ago, a friend was having a hard time following some personal and professional letdowns. She asked a very simple and poignant question: “How come no one fights for us?”
I had no answer for her, and a defeatist sentiment permeated my skin and sat heavy on my heart for weeks. The haunting possibility that she was right kept me awake for some nights. I started looking closely at everyone around me to see if any of them could be my “great defender” – a coworker siding vocally with my opinion, a friend arguing most vehemently on my behalf, an inamorato who won’t let me just happen. I felt despair at the absence of pistols being drawn at a moment’s notice in my honour.
So absorbed was I by the idea that the world was largely indifferent, that I didn’t think of asking an important question: why should anyone fight for us?
Without an answer in mind, I reconciled myself to the fact that we would have to do our own fighting for all the days to come. I was going to share this realization with my friend; tell her that she’d need to commandeer her army of one and fight for herself, because that’s just the way things are.
As I was writing this response to her, it dawned on me that our situation is actually great.
We grow stronger when we embrace the liberation that comes with having control and mastery over our lives, and stop worrying about finding someone to pick up our banners. If we can’t convincingly play the protagonist in our own scenario, how can we expect anyone to take note of our role?
When you stand convinced of your own actions and value, the number of people who join your ranks expands tenfold. But you have to take the first step so others can see you moving. And trust that if you stumble, they will come out of the woodwork and catch you.
The world fights for us when we fight for ourselves first. No one wants to side with a downcast individual.
Truthfully, I am a little embarrassed it took me this long to see that the broadest shoulders I lean on belong to the quiet ones, those who do not display grandiose or theatrical gestures of heroism – they simply take action and support me when and how they can.
Rather amazing things, humans.