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Getting to Know You - September 25


Ann

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I have. It's hard to stand up for what you believe in, but I believe it is also hard to NOT stand up for what you believe in if someone else's feelings may be hurt and you feel they've had enough abuse...

It's also a hard lesson to learn if you have beliefs and they change.

For example (and I've already taken enough heat for my opinion, I refuse to accept more from posting it again):

Once upon a time, I was deadset against abortion. Period. It could NEVER be right, a "fetus" is a BABY...and I was in the minority in my Ethics class and defended my position - beautifully, since I had a wee babe at the time, I might add.

Flash forward ten years, said wee babe is now a child and I've been diagnosed with lung cancer. While being prepped for surgery, I was given a pregnancy test - and the world stopped spinning for a while. My odds of being pregnant were higher by tenfold than my odds of having lung cancer, after all...

In that moment, I KNEW that were that test to come back positive, I had a very hard decision to make... Skip the surgery, go through a full-term pregnancy if at all possible, and deal with terminal lung cancer OR have the possible pregnancy terminated to allow me to go through with the surgery. Either way I would lose, and although I still do not think abortion should be used as birth control, I do think that there are times when it IS the "only" choice and not taken lightly. I'm still not 100% sure which way I would have gone were that test positive, I can't swear on either side, but I know it would have been a decision that would haunt me either way.

...as for standing up for what I believe in, the latest time was here, with the opinion I just stated, on a thread that had gone highly political regarding right to life and abortion and end of life rights, etc. I cannot judge someone else on decisions they may have made when faced with something that was just a possibility for me and not a fully developed moral crisis.

Way back, before cancer, I could have sworn I would NEVER, under ANY circumstances have had an abortion - I was wrong.

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It was my second year of college when I really learned what courage was all about. I have always been...and will always be...a strong environmentalist. The college was growing and a larger student enrollment meant more building...more dorms, more classrooms and bigger parking lots. There were lots of trees on our campus but the grandest tree of all was a huge old sprawling oak tree that was estimated to be well over one hundred years old. The exact location of this grand old tree was to be the new student parking lot. Well, we did what students did best in the seventies and formed some really strong and noisey protests. This, combined with letter writing campaigns and phone calls to elected officials, did no good. The day arrived for the bulldozers to arrive. I very bravely, stood up to bat and allowed friends to chain me to that grand old tree. For over six hours, I rested my back on the trunk of that beautiful old oak tree. The bulldozer halted and the media arrived. Early in the seventh hour, the college president announced that the tree would be saved and the parking area relocated. Well, that tree still stands proudly today, totally unharmed by growth. That was my first real stand to do the right thing. It was then that I realized that people could make a difference and now thirty years later, I still stand up for my beliefs!

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Boy this one is a tough one to talk about because it led to my divorce and my reunion with Johnny. So I have to say it was the best decision I could have made but it gave me a lot of pain and uncertainty at the time.

My marriage was always one that gave my husband control over me. I made the decision that I would stand up for myself. Probably for the first time in my life. He made an outragous accusation against me. Had I given in and admitted that I had done something wrong my marriage may have survived but I would have never found myself or Johnny and above all I would have lost the very last of my self respect. Standing up for myself and what I believed in cost me a lot but it gave me the happiest days of my life.

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