What we do in these situations
defines our characters and our destiny.
Courage. How do you define it? How do you exhibit it in your daily life? Probably the best way I ever heard it defined did not see it as blind fearlessness but, rather, as movement toward a goal in spite of the fear. Many times we see acts of courage on TV or written about in books. Such situations, usually, show extraordinary moments in time in which someone acted in an extraordinary manner.
Courage. Most of us will never experience being on patrol in insurgent territory on foreign soil. Nor will we hold on to a dear friend as he dies in an Afghanistan firefight. Lt. Colonel Michael Waltz did. His story is told in Valor and his new book Warrior Diplomat. (Note: Lt. Colonel Waltz was a high school student of mine who has gone on to make a mark on our world as a Green Beret and advisor to the Vice President of the United States. All net proceeds from his current book go to veterans’ charities.)
Courage. Can you imagine being 14 or 15 years of age and encountering a hostile mob just because you wanted an equal education? The Little Rock Nine did.
Video recommendation for the week:
Courage. Samuel Adams, one of the fearless leaders for the American War for Independence said,
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
And he went on to fight against immense odds for a cause he was willing to sacrifice his life for.
While most of will never be in situations like Waltz, the Little Rock Nine or Adams, we still have situations every day that allow us to step up and demonstrate courage. To ignore the fear and move forward. Consider the following examples:
- Stepping up for someone who is the victim of a bully (I recently heard a young girl singing a song about how she helped a school friend back down a bully).
- Standing up to corporate bullies even when a job (your job) might be on the line.
- Speaking up for a just cause when you are a lone voice in the wilderness.
- Facing a debilitating illness.
- Bouncing back from a setback—and continuing to move toward your goal.
- Admitting that you made a mistake, accepting the consequences, and learning from your actions.
- Asking for assistance—maybe even admitting failure. And again, learning, growing and moving forward.
- Befriending the unpopular kid in class or co-worker in the office.
- Pointing out that gossiping about someone who is not present is, in fact, cowardly. And you lead the way by walking away from the gossip.
We have so many opportunities each day. We engage in little acts of courage that we may not even be aware of when we do them. What we do in these situations defines our characters and our destiny.
Make it a great week. And H.T.R.B. as needed.
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(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.