Introduction to Courage
by Fiona Heath
While it is easy to associate courage with Marvel superheros or towering figures of history such as Nelson Mandela, it’s helpful to remember that “courage doesn’t always roar.” In addition to the heroic acts that alter history, there are also the daily choices that prevent history from altering us. The quiet work of integrity – not allowing yourself to be twisted out of your values and visions – is of great and lasting value. Not just for yourself, but for those who share your values.
There’s the bravery of embracing your beauty even when it doesn’t fit the air-brushed images surrounding you. There’s the courage of calling out the micro-aggressions that happen almost every day at work. And what about resisting the persistent seduction of status and stuff? The list is long: Turning down that drink one day at a time. Making yourself get out of bed when the depression tells you to stay there. Holding your partner’s hand in public. Make no mistake, there are dozens of ordinary acts of bravery we rise up to everyday!
Or maybe we should say there are dozens of ordinary acts of bravery we help each other rise up to every day. Courage is not only noble; it’s contagious. The bravery that makes it into the history books may save the world, but our ordinary courage keeps each other going. Watching someone else make it through another day helps us endure. Witnessing someone else confront bigotry allows us to bravely be more open about who we are. They say that courage is found by digging deep, but most often it is passed on.
This month I am particularly inspired by the youth of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, from Parkland, Florida. In the aftermath of the tragic shooting that took 17 of their classmates, they have responded with integrity and resistance, speaking their truth clearly, passionately, and beautifully. This is courage.
May we be inspired by those who maintain their values in ways large and small in this month of courage.
(adapted from the Soul Matters packet introduction)
April 24, 2018
March 30, 2018
March 30, 2018