This week I reached out to another woman even though I was afraid to. If you don’t know, I’m actually technically an introvert. Reaching out is hard for me.
But it wasn’t about me being an introvert.
I was afraid to reach out to her because I’ve started a local news newsletter/blog and this person is someone who shows up in the news. At a meeting, I watched someone else try to vilify her and another person call her an adjective that is often used as a derogatory qualifier for women who have hope in positive outcomes.
People have called me that adjective a lot especially when it comes to political issues or politics in general or even when it comes to my faith that humanity can be better, that as individuals we can make the right choices.
If I reached out, I wondered, would she scoff? Would she think I was ridiculous? I decided that I didn’t care because it mattered more that she knew that someone saw and recognized what she dealt with — even if that someone was just me.
At the meeting, I didn’t speak up because I don’t think that a reporter’s role is to shape the tenor of a meeting, but it was incredibly hard for me not to speak up because what happened pulled at two of my core beliefs: trying to be an impartial reporter of the news to the best of my abilities AND standing up for people who are being maligned. I beat myself up about my choice for a while.
But the next morning, I ended up emailing her, telling her that I saw what happened and that though I wasn’t her mom or her friend I was really proud of her for being brave.
Why was she brave? Honestly, I think that anyone in local politics who puts themselves out there in the hopes of trying to make a better community, to create compromise, and to try to do that in a vulnerable and kind way? That’s pretty damn boss. I definitely don’t agree with every local politician’s political decisions, but for the ones who go into that political arena with good intentions? It’s so hard.
So, I guess my point on this be brave Friday is that if you see someone else being brave? Give them some props. Let them know that you see them. Actually, maybe it doesn’t even have to happen when people are being brave. Maybe we can just all actively work on letting people know, no matter what they are doing, “I see you.”
I see you.
I hope you all have the best weekend.