Find The Courage – Letter to the Bystander

“Find The Courage”  a letter to a bystander, was written in September of 2010 and was the initial letter that inspired the movement of Find The Courage. 

Find The Courage: A letter to a bystander

You’ve heard your friends taunt those kids  behind their backs, to their faces, and online. You’ve heard those insults thrown around like they’re normal. You know it’s wrong, you know it’s mean, but you can’t Find the Courage to stand up to them. If you say something, those friends could turn on you. You could become the butt of their jokes and YOU could start getting tormented.

So instead, you laugh along. You say nothing. You convince yourself that you’re not as guilty as the others because you’re not actually saying anything. You know what? You’re wrong.

That’s exactly the point – You know better and you aren’t saying anything. So many kids end up going home feeling pathetic, hopeless, worthless and ashamed. Those kids don’t get to laugh or stand with anyone. They stand alone.

They need your courage.

Lesson one in leadership: Leaders include, they don’t exclude. A true leader leads on and off the field  for all people. They aren’t afraid to go against the grain, to speak up, to protect kids who may need it. People will listen to you. People will follow you. You can be the change. You can save a life. But you have to find the courage; especially when those mistreating others may be your friends. Can you?

I know you can.

You find courage every day in your life! You’re a football player; you stay in the pocket an extra second longer, to make the big play. You’re an artist; you battle rap against the best lyricist in your city at midnight. You’re a point guard; you step up and make the last shot in the state finals. You’re a cheerleader; you get on top of the pyramid, even if your legs are trembling. You’re an actor; you give a performance of a lifetime in a sold out audience. You’re college bound; you apply to schools out of your reach and work to get in. You’re a lax player; you run until you puke, and keep going.

You are courageous.

Now we are asking you if you can take that courage and apply it everywhere else. Can you stand up for a kid who has never felt the pride, acceptance, and glory you have, one day in their life? Can you find the courage to take it a little bit further, and include them in your group and get your friends to embrace them as well?

It could be as simple as you saying – “Hey, don’t do that,” to another kid. It could be as simple as including someone left out in something you are doing.

That’s all it may take. Just one word, one action, and you could completely change a life, and the atmosphere in your group of friends, and your school. You actually have that power. The hard part is finding the courage. Can you?

I know you can.