She told me I couldn’t save the world.
She was right. I mean after all, I’m not a superhero or a savior.
But what if that wasn’t my mission or vision?
Somewhere in the early years of my youthful blossoming, I realized I had a deep desire to positively impact the world. To create something radical that didn’t already exist. To leave this earth and our communities better than I found them. To plant seeds of LIGHT and life into places of darkness and despair. To inspire fierceness where there once was fear. To be a catalyst for change.
She told me to always stand up for what I believe in.
She forgot to tell me there was a time and place for everything. Which sometimes got me into trouble. Nothing too serious of course. Just write ups, suspensions, and a few teenage fist fights. I wasn’t violent, I never threw the first punch. I did however, always fight back, to protect myself of course. And I won. Most of the time.
She also called me a rebel MORE than just a time or two.
She was right!
Perhaps you can relate? Perhaps like me, you’ve found yourself at the center or on the outskirts of injustice and felt the untameable passion to fight against what’s wrong while simultaneously fighting for what’s right.
That feeling in you is one I liken to a BOLD and powerful warrior ready to respond to the battle cry. To ADVOCATE for ourselves and others. And NOT because we want to save the world but instead because every fiber of our being would never allow us to just sit back and watch.
To be, you know, a bystander.
I believe everyone in life has a supernatural calling. A purpose. A mission. And that it has little to do with us and everything to do with serving others and the greater good of humanity.
Similar to how the seasons change. I believe there comes a time and place that is perhaps divinely arranged for us to rise up and invite others to come along. Not to fist fight. But indeed to straighten our spines, use our intellectual minds, and our compassionate hearts to DO SOMETHING!
Here at NDVC, we are courageous WARRIOR ADVOCATES who stand up for what we believe in -- but not with our fists. Not in a way that causes more harm. We choose to show up on the battlefield with tools for healing, rather than weapons of destruction. Like a soldier who is a medic, rather than an infantryman.
We’re courageous warriors because we believe the home shouldn’t be the most unsafe place for women in our country. We’re courageous warriors because 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men experiencing abuse in their lifetime is unacceptable. We’re courageous warriors because we recognize that punishment isn’t prevention and we’re tired of funding failure. We’re courageous warriors because our children deserve to grow up in a culture that is vibrant, not violent. We’re courageous warriors because instead of sitting back and doing nothing, we decided to rise up and do something -- different.
We’re digging deep to discover and address the roots of violence in order to produce long-term results. No more bandaids on gunshot wounds. No more single-sided narratives that paint a picture of good vs. evil. No more pretending that the answer to ending violence is more violence.
We have to think like medics. Like warrior healers. Like advocates on a mission to restore what much of historical colonialism violently injected into our individual and collective cultural veins. We need a metaphorical vaccine that prevents it from happening in the first place and an antivenom to stop it dead in its tracks once it’s poisoned our DNA.
So we’re fighting, we’re rising, we’re searching and researching, planning, building, creating, debating and all around renegating. Because we are WARRIORS! There’s no stopping us because the one thing about warriors is that we never quit, especially not when the health and safety of ourselves, our families, and our communities are what’s at stake.
When I think back on all the things she said to me, I lovingly remember that she told me I couldn’t save the world and she called me a rebel. She also told me to stand up for what I believe in. What she didn’t tell me was how to be a warrior -- she didn’t have to.
She showed me.
P.S. She is my mother and she is a warrior. What about you? Are you a warrior too?