We Get to Decide…

“We are the ‘they’ we’ve been waiting for.” – Dawn Onley



By Dawn Onley

We don’t need to wait for them.

And by “them” I mean anyone outside of ourselves.

To protest wrongful acts.

To stand (or kneel) for what we believe in.

To start a new thing.

To change.

Heck, to be happy.

Sure, it’d be nice to have the support of others to help us maneuver life’s rocky terrain. To be our cheerleaders. To help pick us up when we fail. Yes, it’d be great if we didn’t have to go at it alone — if we could galvanize people who feel exactly the same way we do and move forward in a unified front.

In fact, some of us have already been blessed to have this.

Still, it’s not required.

It’s never been about others.

It’s up to us to become the best version of ourselves. I complete me. You complete you. Anything extra is icing on the cake.


We get to create our lives. We get to decide who we want to be, what we want to believe, who we’ll choose as friends, who we’ll love, where we’ll live and work, who has earned our vote, the causes we’ll support, etc. It’s one of the greatest gifts of being an American.

There is no need to wait for someone else to act before we act. I had to remind myself of this recently. I can avoid watching the NFL, as I have done since the season began and will continue to do until Colin Kaepernick is signed to a team. It is my way of standing up for his right to protest and for what the protest is about in the first place.

It doesn’t matter if I stand alone in turning off the TV for games or whether hundreds of thousands of people protest in this way — in the sense of whether or not I should do it.

I decided that what someone else does or doesn’t do is not really my concern. I can’t become so consumed with what “they” are failing to do at the expense of what I should be doing.

I have a whole list of things that I need to be doing – and I am, and I will.

It’s up to me to live a meaningful life. Beauty is, I get to define what that means. And so do you.

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