Sometimes standing up for something is hard. Sometimes it seems repressed by everyone. There’s also an urge to be like everyone else around us, while also keeping that individuality that defines us.
This is made obvious in the movie “The Incredibles.” In it, a family of superheroes is forced to hide their powers and live a normal family life. Their secret identity is supposed to be their only identity. They act like normal family, but they’re not. The oldest kid, Violet Parr, wants to be normal, but is hindered by her and her family’s hidden superpowers. During a argument in the movie, she says “We act normal, mom! I want to be normal! The only normal one is Jack-Jack, and he’s not even toilet trained!”
Like Violet, most people want to be normal, but they’re not because of who they really are. Also, most people don’t like standing up to things alone. It’s lonely if no one stand up with us for something we know is right. But we’re actually not alone. Sometimes it takes one person to get the courage to stand up for something they believe and know is right for others to follow and stand with that person. It might be because they have the same beliefs or supports that view because of some other thing. At the end of the movie, the family fights off a villain that tries to appear to be a superhero. They stood up and they stood out.
Chick-fil-a’s CEO Dan Cathy stood up against same-sex marriage with his comment in June. He stood up for his belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. All that he told the Baptist Press was that “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit” for people to be against him. Yet, thousands of people yesterday expressed their support and appreciation for his stand and beliefs by eating at least one Chick-fil-a meal. All Cathy did was take the courage and stand up for his beliefs and by doing that, he stood out. Sure, he made enemies, like three mayors.
But he also had tons of support, like all those people who spent hours in line just to get a chicken sandwich. Some supported Chick-fil-a because they believed the same thing about marriage. Others supported them because of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution–the right of free speech. Yet some people wanted to get a sandwich just because they wanted a sandwich.
Also, in “The Avengers,” an old man stands up to Loki when he tries to make a crowd kneel. The old guy stands up and says: “Not to men like you.” Loki then replies “There are no men like me.” The old guy replies that “There are always men like you.” The old guy stood up because he knew that doing that wasn’t going to stop Loki because it didn’t stop Hitler or others like him. He was protected by Captain America when Loki tried to kill him and make an example out of him.
Sure, standing up for your convictions and beliefs can be scary. It’s also challenging because not everyone will support you. People won’t like you for standing up for your beliefs. But going with the flow won’t get us anywhere. Being normal might be comfortable and make us seem like everyone else, but should it cost our convictions and beliefs? Should we bend and break our beliefs to be normal and accepted? Or do we want to stand out because we stood beside them?
Oscar Wilde once said “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” We need to do more than just exist. That’s normal. It’s also boring. It’s time to do more than work, eat, play, and sleep. Living means that we take chances and risks. It means that we stand behind our beliefs and convictions. Doing that will make us stand out from others. It won’t be easy. You might get hurt and ridiculed. You’ll have enemies. But you’ll also have friends. You’ll also have support. Remember life shouldn’t be easy, but it’ll be worthwhile if you stand firm in your beliefs.
It’s time to go. It’s time to stand up and stand out. Don’t bow down to Loki or back down from a comment you meant. Don’t aim to be normal like Violet wanted to. Our “normal” identity shouldn’t be our only identity. What happens when you stand up and stand out from the crowd could change the world.
Stand up. Stand out. Stand firm. Do hard things.