Stand by Me
Not sure why it is, but I always seem to favor the underdog. Since I was a kid, I felt drawn to those who were marginalized in one way or another. Perhaps, that is why I like the song, Stand by Me, so much. I see it as the anthem for the underdog.
In the Paradoxical Commandments by Kent Keith, he says "People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway."
Who might the underdogs be? To me, they are those among us that are marginalized, who exist on the edges of our society. They come from all walks of life, all economic, social, religious and cultural backgrounds. Often, they have developed an abrasive personality because they have been mistreated by the world around them for too long. Sometimes they are so sweet and unassuming that they simply disappear even when they are only with us.
As a teacher, I fight for the underdogs, often. These are the students who don't have the privilege of parentage or finance to get them where they need to be. These are the people to whom life has dealt a crummy hand, yet they keep trying, keep believing something good will happen.
One of my students from long ago is now working in Israel. She is with an organization, Atzum, that struggles to help those who are victims of social injustice. I just signed a letter on their site to the Knesset supporting legislation to fight against sex trafficking. The motto of this organization is, "Addressing urgent need in Israel, one person at a time."
When we fight for the underdog, we do what the old man did who was throwing starfish back into the ocean. We make a difference. We may not be able to save the entire world, but we make a difference in the lives we touch were we are in this moment.
May we stand by each other, when we are in trouble and when we are simply in need of a friend.