Yesterday while driving a stretch of highway back home, where I had to pass a railway crossing, I felt a sense of foreboding as I became more and more self conscious of all the vehicles around me when the gates opened. Of the speed and pace of the other cars, rickshaw, cycles, bus, during points of passing. The more I thought about how narrow the road was, how treacherous this particular section was, the more I could feel myself losing my nerve when actually I pass it everyday, it was not the first time. All of a sudden, my own thinking became my enemy as I fought off superstitious dread while I continued to be alert to all of the movement all around me.
It made me angry that I was losing my nerve. I had never been afraid of driving before. Afraid of the conditions when they warrant fear which was the case when once I had to drive through a treacherous snow covered road, I can understand. But, fear when it’s not warranted? It baffles me.
Today, thinking back on this unsolicited fear thing, I stared wondering about courage. How do you explain it? Where does it come from? Who do I know who lives a courageous life? What is a true act of courage?
Courage happens before our own thinking can catch up to the act. It is less of a cerebral activity than it is an act from the heart.
Often it’s only after an event when one has a chance to evaluate and take stock. Sometimes, it is so subtle we don’t recognize it as courage until it is pointed out by someone else, or not. Courage is tied so closely with our personal values and integrity that we will do something based on our beliefs and no other rationale. Courage means trusting in oneself to be able to fight off cognitive fears, and to take a step outside of our comfort zone.
Courage is shown by reaching a hand out to someone else, by sticking your neck out to advocate, to protect, to defend, to save, to try, try and try.
Courage tests our beliefs, it feeds hope, it fosters community!!!
Courage is doing the right thing when the wrong thing seems to produce better results. Courage is doing what you were born for, against the odds. Courage is taking the first step. Courage is getting up to ride again after a really bad fall. Courage is standing up for your future when your past keeps knocking you down.
Courage is one more day.
That’s what I feel courage is all about.