The Courage to Stand Alone

It takes courage to stand alone for values, for goodness, for beliefs that form the foundation of who you are. 

For those of you who are going through hard times, having health issues, finding yourselves alone in the world, without family, hurting, a single parent (like me), maybe a parent without your kids, suffering without money or a job, or just a person with doubt about the goodness of the world….a world that seems now so full of lies and deceit, I just want you to know that you have the strength inside you to endure, to survive with dignity, to love in a deeper way if you try, to trust again, and to persevere with your beliefs despite the shadows of those around you.

You don’t need to give up your value systems to cope, drink alcohol, use drugs, curse, smoke, degrade others, hurt others, use others, follow the will of the crowd, or belittle yourself and your views in life to survive. You do not have to carry the beliefs of your family or friends, your church, or even your partner to do what is right.

It’s often hardest to be strong when alone in the face of troubled people and a world that selfishly struggles to tear down the goodness in you or your child or a friend who is alone and suffering.

Sometimes it is the evils of society and your country or culture that work to tear down your own trust of the world. Whether you are religious or not, see God’s plan in your life, or some universal constant, “goodness” and “truth” still exist. They do endure. I believe that! 

Goodness lies hidden around us. It is there to support us. Sometimes it’s in a single family member or a friend, a morning sun, a child’s eyes,  a loving pet, a church or temple leader, in a lone courageous politician, in a civic leader, or a stranger that reaches out with kindness on the street. You remember those people don’t you? Why? It’s something that faintly shines in your spirit or mind for the rest of your life. It’s transcendental and there to teach us something important about ourselves and our secret place in the order of things.
Goodness exists because you have seen goodness in the world, consciously chosen it, and seen it in yourself. It’s what’s left to help you survive as a higher human being, the man or woman you were born to be, not the lower animal that you could become if you give up.

Trust in that instinct and stand firm against the darkness and do the little things that matter, because they turn into good things that are bigger and eventually sway the minds of others, and serve to support the goodness in the larger world that lives on beyond our own lives.

Each of us can be a pillar or a dependent of others. To stand alone means you support your views alone, yet aware and open to learning from others, receiving their goodness and yet accepting their flaws.

It’s taken me 50 years to fully see this within my personal faith but beyond religion as well. It’s a Universal Order there to challenge us. Expose us. A karma of some kind that’s hidden within and without. It’s what’s left of who we are when we are stripped bare….the good part of us that must endure, the side of us that will not lie, that values truth, that knows what’s right and must do what’s right when the flesh and the will fails.

When we fail as human beings it’s the part of us that must forgive ourselves then learn and stand again for what’s right again and again and again until we finally get it right. It’s not just the will to live and survive, it’s the spirit of something beyond us…an ideal that must live on long past our own lives.
And therefore it is the strength – the giver of strength through goodness – that is all that’s left to define who we truly are in life, and what truly matters beyond the many roles we have played in the end.

– Mitchell Stokely, March 2017



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  1. danaethinks says:

    Thank you, Mitchell, for the reminder. I’m going through a tough time, and my belief in good is being tested.

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