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Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Step up Soldier

11:27pm - I cannot sleep.

Today at church a video about being a Soldier was shown in honor of Memorial Day weekend.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I am more and more grateful every day to the brave men and women who stand up and have stood up for our country.  I am thankful that my both my grandfathers fought for our country in WWII.  I realize that our country could look like a very different place if we didn't have people who were willing to risk it all to protect our freedoms -- to protect US.  I am proud to be an American.

In the video, the narrator made the point several times that the Soldier steps up and protects.  The Soldier puts him or herself out there on behalf of others.  The Soldier makes sacrifices.

The events of the past month have shaken me, especially the kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls.  I have written and deleted a few drafts of blog posts in which I ranted about the injustice and questioned how we (as women, Americans, civilians) could help.  I feel helpless that those girls were not protected.  I feel helpless that no one is able to protect them right now from whatever horrors they may be suffering. And, honestly I feel helpless not only about the kidnapping of hundreds of girls, but also the abuse of children right here in my own city, and the bullying that goes on in schools, and the elderly who have no one to care for them, and about a million other life cruelties and hardships faced by people everyday.

The video got me thinking.  How can I be a Soldier?  How can I step up and protect others -- how can I put myself out there?

I look at other Soldiers.

My cousin Carrie.  A true Soldier.  One of the strongest and most generous women I know.  Many years ago she literally protected her mother by giving her a kidney.  She also stands up and makes sacrifices everyday to protect her son who has autism and make sure he is safe and receiving the care he needs.  On April 21, 2014 she ran in the Boston Marathon as part of the Boston Children's Hospital Miles for Miracles Team.  She raised thousands of dollars for an amazing cause and finished her first marathon to boot.  Carrie's dad was a Soldier and I know he is smiling down at his brave protector of a daughter.

Malala Yousafzai.  This girl gets its and she doesn't stop, no matter what the cost.  She has put herself out there on behalf of the right to education.  She is wise beyond her years and her words are thoughtful and profound coming from such a young person.

All the kids this year who stood up for someone else who was being bullied.  There were many new  stories this past school year relating to children who stepped up to protect another from bullying and each one always brought tears to my eyes.  Like most kids, I was the recipient of some bullying.  I also know that I didn't always step up to protect others from bullying.  I survived the bullying, but I truly regret not being a Soldier for others.  Those kids who are stepping up are Soldiers.

People sacrificing their time, energy and resources for someone they don't even know.  Right now my city is being turned upside down with love by thousands of volunteers searching for a missing college student -- Brogan Dulle.  They are out there not only to protect him, but to protect our city.  Each person searching, volunteering, handing out flyers and gathering supplies is making a sacrifice on behalf of someone else.  Most people involved don't even know him.  I am in awe.  Click Here to Learn More and See Flyer.

There are so many other examples -- from well known Soldiers who fight publicly for peace and justice to the moms, dads, stepparents, grandparents, sisters, brothers and friends who sacrifice to protect the people they love.

Being a Soldier is about big things and little things.  It is about putting others before yourself.  It is stepping up when you know something is not right.  It is saying something that needs to be said, especially when no one else will say it.  It is about protecting human rights.  It is about protecting others' feelings.  It is about being brave.  It is about love.

I realize now that I can be a Soldier everyday.  Everyone can.  Step up Soldier, we can change the world.