She Who Stands for Something

When I was a little girl, my mother gave me her own version of the lemming speech. (You know the one: “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you follow them?” ) Except hers was more a challenge than a question. “If you don’t stand for something,” she warned, “you’ll fall for everything.”

This watercolor and poem hangs on my wall, a symbolic representation of that axiom. Unfortunately, the colors are muddied in this image, but the poem’s message is clear:

She Who Stands for Something

She chooses the purity
Of truth over popularity
Possessing the moral courage
To make her action consistent
With her knowledge
Of right and wrong,
She knows that the choices she makes today
Will shape her into the woman
She will be tomorrow. 

This woman’s life defines
Such words as love,
forgiveness, charity,
Service, compassion and godliness.
For she knows who she is
And what she believes. 

Her integrity is founded
On unswerving principle.
She is beyond reproach,
And her courage is unsurpassed.
As she carries the banner of truth,

Everyone knows
She stands for something. 

Today, the California Assembly passed AB 2165 on a 71-1 vote, including a provision for expedited delivery to Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk. I’m feeling grateful and a bit overwhelmed by the symbolic value of this final vote. Like most people, I’m sometimes unable or unwilling to speak my truth. But on this issue, I’m very glad I took a stand. 

*Image and poem used with permission of artist and author Suzy Toronto. Take a look at her beautiful artwork and inspiring poetry here.


  1. What beautiful words… and OMG! Holy cow, congratulations. It had been eye opening to watch your journey through this.

    Fantastic, awesome, magnificent!

    Great job.

    • It’s been eye-opening for me, too. Sometimes a good thing; other times, not so much. But in the end, it’s been worth the struggle to get to this day of celebration. Thank you for sharing it with me, Sacha.

    • Re: a flower for your victory

      Thank you so, so much. This is a victory for my son and for the citizens of California. I’m glad I could serve as an instrument of justice. It’s been difficult, but more importantly, it’s been a privilege.

      What a beautiful icon, by the way.

  2. Hi Melodye, I’ve been following your blog for a long time and I really admire your both your tenacity and your goal. Congratulations!

    And I hope to see you again in the YA class.

    • Hi Jennifer! Thank you *so much* for your kind words. It means a great deal to me that there’s support out there for this bill — especially coming from my LJ friends.

      Absolutely, you can count on me being in the YA class. Even if I’m working hard to meet some deadlines for my nonfiction book, I’m learning a lot by participating in the YA group, as well. See you there!

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