Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
My favorite quotation is from Martin Luther, who said at the Council of Augsburg, “Here I stand; I can do no other.” He was referring to his position on his disagreement from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, but I have taken it as my own to mean something I strongly believe in and feel I must do, am compelled to do.
I have felt this way about my conversion to Islam. I prayed and read the Quran and attended Juma’a at the masjid and came to the conclusion that I belonged in this religion, that this was the right place for me. Despite objections from my family and friends, I knew that Islam was the right choice for me and I accepted Islam. “Here I stand; I can do no other.”
More recently I believe I am called to be an activist for gun control, particularly against the sale of assault-type weapons and the sale of large clips of ammunition. I have signed petitions, written emails to both my senators and my congressman, the president, called Walmart corporate headquarters, visited the managers of local Walmarts with fliers asking them to stop selling these weapons, and I will be calling my senators and congressman as well with my comments. I will do anything else that is asked of me to further this cause, even though it is not supported by my family and friends. The events in this nation in the past few months have shaken me to my core. Newtown, CT. Aurora, CO. Oak Hill, WI. West Webster, NY. “Here I stand; I can do no other.”
There are other issues that move me and that I have taken action on such as immigration, where I feel we as a nation are not as caring as we should be. I wrote to then-President Bush about my concerns about his policies on immigration. “Here I stand; I can do no other.”
Homelessness is a serious problem in our community. I have worked to support the shelters in our community and with the church I belonged to, worked to hand out warm blankets and food to the homeless. I carry food packets in my car to give to the homeless who beg on the street corners. “Here I stand; I can do no other.”
I work with abused and neglected children as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the Family Court system. I am now a Peer Coordinator who supervises new advocates and helps them with their cases. I care deeply about my CASA kids and their welfare. “Here I stand; I can do no other.”
“Here I stand; I can do no other” is a mantra for my life. It reminds me to be committed to the ideals I hold dear. It informs my life. It guides me. It pushes me to be what I should be. What more could I ask?