By Bob Perks
It is a simple word. Still, it is powerful beyond measure.
In recent weeks I have heard it used hundreds of times.
"What is courage?" I asked of friends around me.
"Being married!" one declared.
"The soldiers at war," another said.
So I asked a child.
"I think it means being strong," the little one replied.
"Who do you think is strong?" I asked of her.
She thought for awhile, nervously playing with her hair. Then she stood taller
and said, "My dog Max. He tugs with me."
When I hear the word I think of soldiers. The courage it takes to be one at any time,
but more so when man has chosen to be at war.
Of course, I’d also have to include firefighters and police officers. That takes courage, too.
It would appear then, that courage applies to service. The courage to serve others,
to put others first even in the face of danger.
Wait. Courage is more than that.
It takes courage to stand up, stand out or stand alone.
Likewise, it takes courage to sit down, sit it out, sit alone.
Courage shines in the face of a child who tries to walk for the first time. It also
comes in the hands of the parent who stays far enough away to let them try.
Courage says "yes" when the world says "no."
Courage also says "no" when the world says "yes."
Courage is getting up when staying down is so much easier.
Courage is woven in the soul of the athlete who tries to beat the odds, fails but tries again.
It is also in the spirit of the dancer who stumbles and goes on anyway.
Courage demands when one is challenged to go beyond their perceived ability
and courage strengthens when suddenly that goal is reached.
Courage comes in faith. Courage can’t exist in doubt or fear.
Courage is standing firm and bending far.
Courage is found in the charge to war, but also in the march for peace.
Courage for some is waking up, getting up and trying one more time.
Courage comes in chemo, leg braces, canes and walkers and courage rides in wheel chairs.
Courage is found in the strength of a gentle man and in the passion of a determined woman.
Courage lives in the sigh of the last "goodbye" and in the smile of the first "hello."
Courage is to live fully, live with dignity, live with compassion, live with righteousness,
live with hope and live with purpose.
Courage is to believe when no one else does.
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