Taking a stand has never been easy for me. I admit it. I am wishy washy by nature. One of my Mother's nicknames for me is even "the peace maker." Not always the case, mind you. More logically I'd call it the case of the proverbial fence sitter. I believe that's why I ended up becoming a newspaper journalist (that and being paid to write). I could stay neutral (like Switzerland) and watch all the fireworks explode around me. And then I got to write a great, juicy story about it.
But the last few months it seems that world and local issues are starting to irk me. Like an itchy, awful rash that won't go away. A rash of issues I would've written stories about if I were still in a newsroom.
My heart is aching as workers are dead and 42,000 gallons of oil are leaking daily from an oil rig that caught fire and sank off the coast of Louisiana. It is the state where my beloved child was born and still holds a sacred space in my heart. And the thought that coastlines and waterways from LA to FLA and beyond will be affected by irreparable damage just pours salt into the wound.
And then there are the recent rumblings and rantings I've endured of those preaching the gospel of hate - toward soldiers, gays and anyone else who's not of 'right' mind. It's all like a freight train running wild through my head. Where do I place my allegiance? Where will I draw the line?
All I know is I need to make a difference. That's what I have been truly missing. I was under the illusion for 15 years that I was making a difference just by being a watch dog for the media. Maybe all it was was a farce, a smoke screen of caring. Or, maybe it was part of my path that has led me to this moment. A moment when I know it's time to draw a line in the sand and take a stand.