“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy …
Good does not fight injustice in the course of a day; nor does good conquer evil in one fell swoop. Rather, it is through the “numberless diverse acts of courage and belief,” that good surmounts the “mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Courageous acts are often romanticized throughout society as single selfless acts of risking one’s life. However, this display of courage is rare, and therefore usually has a smaller impact than the sum of the “diverse acts of courage displayed daily.” On the other hand, courage that is found in the small day-to-day happenings of life is much more abundant–touching all aspects of life, creating “millions of different centers of energy and daring” that together have a large impact in the lives of others and ourselves. We each are presented opportunities to embrace and to live courage in our lives. And when we choose to do so, we allow it to become more of a part of us, and we become stronger.
Some of the bravest people I have known are those who face each day with a great deal of courage, no matter what their situation. The people who are dying of cancer and other catastrophic illnesses, the orphaned children who have lost their parents, the victims of ‘Boko Haram’, the victims of war and natural disasters who have lost their homes, possessions, and loved ones–so many of these individuals have endured unimaginable pain and misery, yet never pity themselves. Instead, they spend the last few months of their lives giving to others, sharing of their precious time, talents, and love… or giving out of compassion and love, the last few possessions they own. And if we–like these individuals–are able to look at each day of our lives as an opportunity to live our lives more fully, to love others more deeply, and to give more compassionately, we too will create ripples of courage that will resonate in the hearts of others.
Courage is inside us all. The question we must ask ourselves is, “Do I use my courage?” Each time we stand courageously for the cause of good, we send out hope to the rest of the world. Hope that encourages others to be strong; hope that serves as proof that we do not have to stand by idly, that cowardice is not the only option.
Share with someone a few examples of courage that they have shown that you have recognized.
Questions to consider:
Think of someone whom you see as courageous? Why do you consider that person to be courageous?
What kinds of decisions will you have to make today? What would the courageous path be in your decision-making?
How can you share courage with others today?
For further thought:
“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.
That is the sort of bravery I must have now.”
-Veronica Roth, Allegiant