I’ve never been able to be a follower.

Still, I’m shy by nature—something my children would never believe in a hundred million years—because around people that I know, I’m big and vocal and passionate.

I’m passionate about the beauty surrounding me, and the things I believe in.

Love. Loyalty. Kindness. Righting wrongs. Standing up for children, and also for adults who can’t seem to find their voice, yet desperately need one.

It is only because of my husband’s government career and my businesses that I’ve learned how to be an extrovert.

Learned how to switch into what I call Diplomat Mode.

But even if you have Diplomat Mode turned on—if you’re vocal about the wrongs in the world—it makes you a target by those who are profiting from them.

When Funk was mayor of Kansas City, he had just come off an eighteen-year stint as the city auditor. And while many citizens hated government workers, he was a much beloved employee. The most likely reason is that he had the backs of regular folks. The oppressed. The underserved.

And the media exalted him for it.

Funk and I have always made a formidable team, and his campaign and administration were no exceptions.

The media shined a light on me during his campaign for being so supportive of my husband.

But once Funk switched to being mayor—the profiteers who were used to taking money from the city with two hands—now had to use one of those hands to fight him off.

And that pissed those guys off to no end! And I became their target. Their way to make sure that Funk wasn’t re-elected.

A feminist reporter once told me that there were 500+ “hit pieces” about me. I wasn’t aware of it, because I had long-since stopped reading the newspaper and watching TV.

I had to, lest I be in a fetal position all day, every day.

What I’ve learned in my 60 years—is that to rise from oppression, to make any significant changes—people need to turn away from the conventional thinking that is being force-fed to the masses on a continual basis. Because with that feeding comes a way too easily ingested fear.

And fear is how profiteers keep the oppressed down.

To me, the only way to rid a brainwash-driven fear—is to stand with others who are fighting your same fight. That’s the way to reclaim your power. Your rights. Your due.

When those “hit pieces” took place, not one woman of power stood up for me.

But imagine if they had.

Funk would have been able to do so much more, and women would’ve come up a notch in the world.

The problem with standing with others is—the longer you’ve been down—the easier it is to take opportunities for yourself instead of for the good of the whole.

Here’s to you if you question conventional thinking. If you’re working for the whole.

The photo: A clock on a toll booth in New York stating the correct time. Except it wasn’t.

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