Everyone Needs An Advocate

By Beth Gulley
Every person needs an advocate–someone who believes in us even more than we believe in ourselves.    Ideally, parents fill this role, but I believe we need several people who feel that way about us.
I began reflection on this when my pastor shared his theory that people allow themselves to continue in a self destructive abuse cycles because they don’t love themselves in a healthy way.  I believe many people find it hard to love themselves and believe they are worthwhile people because those around them don’t believe in them.
As community members, we can become advocates for people we come into contact with.  When I was in the fifth grade, I had a very difficult time getting along in school. I got into fights with my peers, and struggled with some of my teachers.  The school administrators were ready to get rid of me, but a lone guidance councilor named Ann Winger stood up for me, and eventually lost her job over me.  I learned I was someone worth getting fired over, and I carry that around with me still.  When people tell me I am worthless, I remember that to Ann Winger I was worth losing a job over.
I am grateful to people like Kim Bolen and Gerri Hart who show this kind of advocacy and love for my children. (Although I hope they never have to choose between their jobs and my sons.)  We all need people to believe in us fiercely.  That is what is great about living in a community.
I hope this column reminds you of a teacher, pastor, coach, librarian, janitor, boss, neighbor, grandparent whose belief in you had teeth and the power to make you believe you were worthwhile.  I hope you think of at least one person you run into regularly who needs you to advocate for them.  Find a way to love them fiercely, protectively, like a mama bear.

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Posted by admin on Apr 13 2011. Filed under Beth Gulley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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