lessons on standing in your values


Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.

Brené Brown

This weekend, my family and I went to see Black Panther.  Have you seen it yet?  I won't give away any plot secrets, but I will say this:  go see this movie.  It features strong women.  Healthy male-female relationships.  Complex characters.  And Michael B. Jordan is so fine.  


Actually, probably the biggest lesson the movie explores is what it means to stand in your own values.  Not just the protagonist, but several characters in the movie wrestle with what it means to stand up for what you believe in -- and a couple of times the values of one conflict with the values of another.  Nonetheless, with a few exceptions, every character in the story struggled with what was the right thing to do.  As a result, this struggle made most of the characters immensely sympathetic. 

It is an enormously satisfying movie.  Again, go see it, if you haven't already.

After seeing the movie, I've been enthralled by the tweets and speeches of the young people who survived the Parkland massacre last week.  Not a week after what I have to think was the most heartbreaking, terrifying, traumatic day of their young lives, these kids are speaking with the press, tweeting to the president, and organizing marches for what they believe in, and what they stand for.  They're not waiting for permission.  These kids are taking the incredibly crappy hand they've been dealt, and along with this spotlight that has been so unfairly thrust upon them, they're doing whatever they can to make the world a better place.

They are an absolute inspiration.

And so this week, even though it may be incongruous to think of both a comic book superhero origin story and survivors of a real-life massacre in the same space,* I'm holding the lessons of the people of Wakanda and the heroes of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School close, and asking myself:  how can I stand in my values?  And what can I do to show it?


*  Actually, it may not be so incongruous after all.


Soundtrack:  Pray for me by The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar