Shivers ran down my spine as I read about this incredible woman’s life. She fought with words. She fought with stories. She stood her ground. She shook a nation.
Abraham Lincoln when he met her said, “So, this is the little woman who started the great war.”
I am talking about Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. A book, I am ashamed to say I have never read (although as soon as I can get to the library I will remedy that right quick).
She is one of my hero’s. She stood for truth. Not in a loud, judgemental, shaking a finger type of way.
She used stories, she was clear headed and she influenced thousands, from a lowly farmer, to the Prime Minister of England.
In this day and age of fake news, click-bait, photoshop and emotional Facebook rants, it’s tempting to either stay quiet or vent emotionally (and irrationally) on topics that matter. I have erred on both sides (although I’m more prone to the emotional ranting, if we’re being honest).
I’ve been told to stay out of it and stay quiet. I’ve been told the best thing to do is to simply love your family and be kind to others.
I agree, that’s a noble thing to do and I love doing it every day. I love having littles and getting to teach them these important lessons and pray that when I release these humans into the world they will stand up and make it a better place.
But, I think there is something to be said for speaking up & speaking out. Even if you make mistakes. Even if you get backlash. Even if you have to go back and apologize when you’ve gone too far. It may be messy, but I am convinced, it is worth the mess.
Learning how to communicate clearly, with emotion but without being mean, with humility but also with strength, takes time, and practice. It takes WORK, and it might seem to some an exercise not worth undertaking, but if you KNOW truth, if you KNOW God’s word, if your heart BREAKS at injustice and a lack of empathy and a complete departure from logic – I encourage you – speak up.
Now, please hear me, this is not an encouragement for more of the ugly, name-calling, lack of compassion, internet trolling – I’m talking about intelligent, balanced, composed, focused and love-filled arguments and conversations.
Words are our most powerful weapons. Words communicate ideas, and ideas get lodged into people’s minds. Eventually those ideas become actions and the actions of many can change the world.
We need more women like Harriet Beecher Stowe. Brave and strong, articulate and compassionate. Unmoving in conviction and powerful in influence.
If there is light in you – don’t hide it, pray about how you can let it shine.