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Courageous Enough to Provoke

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on June 21, 2012
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I don’t like confrontations. I try not to provoke people. But yesterday, I read three different blogs or quotes that pushed me beyond my anxiety.

  1.  15 habits of Great Writers challenge-Day 12: Great writers provoke their readers. Yes, I get it. Writing is art and great art should make us think, motivate us to change something, anger us into action. I shouldn’t fear confrontation from the words I write. I should long for it.
  2. Winston Churchill said, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” I have to make the decision to be courageous even though I may kindle a negative reaction in someone.
  3. From a former student and friend on Facebook: “’Do not be afraid’ is written in the Bible 365 times. That’s a daily reminder from God to live everyday fearless.”

By the third one, I straightened up to pay attention. God probably gets frustrated when He tells me something repeatedly and I refuse to listen. I do when my children ignore me. So, here’s my call to action both for myself and others.

I live in a picturesque, rural county on the Chesapeake Bay, a little slice of heaven on earth. The small town atmosphere is tangible in the gorgeous views, friendly people, family-owned shops and restaurants, and concerned citizens. In a county this size, residents should look out for each other. For the most part, everyone here does.

But an undercurrent of fear permeates this idyllic place. A problem exists which some people try to ignore, while others point and place blame. Some actually try to make a difference. More of us need to be in the last category.

My county has a drug problem. Not only alcohol and marijuana but hardcore drugs like heroin, meth, and amp. And not a certain age or group of people is affected but all walks of life. It’s invading our schools, our businesses, and our homes, even if no one in our families use. And because it is here, in my peaceful county, I bet it’s wherever you are too.

I can easily sit back and say, “The sheriff and deputies are working hard to combat this problem.” They are working diligently. Since the sheriff is my husband, I know the drug problem is a priority and how much time his office spends trying to make a dent in it.

But does that let me off the hook because he’s doing his part? No, not even close. And it doesn’t let anyone else off the hook either.

I have heard people say, “I saw so-an-so the other night. He was stoned out of his mind.”

Or “I walked past (insert name here) in the parking lot Friday. He looked too trashed to drive. Hope he made it home alright.”

Did anybody try to stop these people from destroying their lives? Probably not. Most people don’t want to intrude, feel sorry for the poor soul, or even secretly think As long as it’s not my kid, spouse, or friend, it’s not my problem.

Well, guess again. It is our problem. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” I’ve read that quote often and seen it attributed to many people, but no matter who said it first, it applies to our situation.

Any person, myself included, who sees or even hears about a person who is high, stoned, tanked, wasted, or whatever the kids call it nowadays but does nothing is partly responsible for anything caused by the drug use.

Suicide, broken homes, wasted potential, shattered hearts. What else should we watch happen?

Take a stand, people. Love one another enough to tick someone off. You just might keep them alive.

Are you courageous enough?


3 Responses to 'Courageous Enough to Provoke'

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  1. Tori said,

    Linden, I always enjoy your blog, but this entry literally moved me to tears. My 23 year old nephew died last week of a drug overdose. I cannot put into words how much this post meant to me at this particular time. God Bless you and I thank you for being courageous. Tori

    • Oh, Tori, I am so sorry! You and your family are all in my prayers! It blesses me beyond belief to know that I have touched someone with my words. He gives them to me to share, and He knows just when I need to do it. Bless you!

      • Tori said,

        and His timing is perfect. 🙂

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