“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
– Brene Brown
I had the great privilege of attending an oath ceremony for a friend that became a citizen of the United States. If you haven’t ever attended one, I highly recommend it. For those of us that are born US citizens, it is easy to take for granted the rights, privileges and responsibilities that come with being a citizen.
The people in the room were from 48 countries around the world, from as close as Mexico and as far away as Bhutan. They had all spent years following a very convoluted process to become citizens. They believe in an idea, the idea that despite all of our internal conflicts, that being part of the United States gives them a life and opportunities they can’t find anywhere else in the world.
As I stood in the crowded room, I was struck by the people. It was much as you would expect, husbands, wives, friends, all eager to watch their loved ones becomes citizens of the United States. It was like a graduation ceremony, a feeling of excitement, of hope for the future, recognition that this was a moment that would change the participants from one thing to another. The men and women in the room were the witnesses to the hard work and sacrifice the new citizens had made. They were ready to celebrate.
It was a moment of pure hope.
Who shows up for us in life? Those who are our cheerleaders, our mentors, our friends.
These are moments that are special. Moments that you can’t miss in the lives of those we love: weddings for some, Master of Public Health for others. Births, christenings, funerals are all times that we recognize transition.
At these times, there’s no need to worry about a gift. The precise fashion choices don’t matter.
We witness for each other.
When we stand up for each other, a bond is created. The bonds that hold us together, that keep us together.
There is love in showing up.