A picture of advocacy

By January 20, 2014 Ethics 2 Comments

Image (cc) Google

A Man and Advocate

Today celebrates a man who is worth admiring. Martin Luther King Jr. was a humanitarian and advocate that led the nonviolent civil disobedience of the civil rights movement. King cared about freedom, choice, and dignity.

A Movie

I recently watched¬†Creating Freedom: The Lottery of Birth, a documentary investigating groupthink, power, and facilitating change. I was reminded of Martin Luther King Jr. while watching the documentary. The film interviewed various scientists and experts. One of them spoke of the danger of not questioning. Another said society is trained not to question; trained to cooperate. Without questioning and advocacy we won’t make progress. Society has been trained that injustices are a fact of life, so you just have to accept them.

Max Horkheimer said, “Well-informed cynicism is only another mode of conformity”

What if Martin Luther King Jr. was a well-informed cynic? What if he didn’t question? What if he didn’t change his behavior based on the society he believed could exist? What if he wasn’t an advocate?

An Experiment

Do you remember learning about the Stanley Milgram experiments? It has been repeated many times all over the world with the same results.

When the teacher/participant questioned the condition of the learner/actor, he said, “Who’s going to take the responsibility if anything happens to that gentleman?” The researcher replied, “I’m responsible.” So the teacher/participant continued putting aside his advocacy, because someone else was responsible.

Does it matter if authority figures take responsibility for unjust treatment of fellow human beings? Isn’t this man still a participant in the injustice?

A Choice to advocate

If nobody had been willing to stand up and follow Martin Luther King Jr. what would have happened? What if people like you and I said, ‘Well the authority figures say this is what we should be doing’. What if we did not question status quo?

What if we chose to do nothing, because injustices in the world exist. You just need to learn to deal with them?

Doing nothing isn’t an option. Your behavior speaks volumes. You either support unjust behavior or you advocate against it and for the improvement of dignity, freedom, and choice.

So when you are faced with dilemmas of corporate authority prescribing profit over person treatment, what are you doing to do?

Rachel Wynn
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Rachel Wynn

Speech-Language Pathologist at Gray Matter Therapy
Rachel is a speech-language pathologist and creator of Gray Matter Therapy. She started making noise as a patient-centered care advocate in 2013. She believes great care happens when patients are informed and engaged.
Rachel Wynn
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  • Thomas

    Beautifully written!

    • http://www.graymattertherapy.com Rachel Wynn

      Thank you!