How Courageous Are You?

Do you watch The Daily Show?  I love it.  I actually feel like it’s the most reliable news source out there.  I believe that art and play are the tools of compassion and so, a comedy show is the perfect venue to show us where are connected and where we are making big mistakes as a society.

I bring this up now because I am thinking a lot about courage.   Courage is a word and concept that I have come to value more and more over the years and especially lately.  Courage is to Compassion like the tea leaves are to my morning cup of tea.  Compassion literally cannot exist without Courage.  And right now, in my work and in my life, I keep seeing examples of folks choosing fear over the right action.

Back to The Daily Show, they recently produced a segment on our country’s gun control disaster – that “shameful day in Washington” was defined by the “cowards[who] defied the will of most Americans and helped the hardliners and hypocrites prevail.”  But it’s not just gun control where we aren’t stepping up.  And Senators aren’t the only cowards among us.

How many times in our work as do-gooders are we faced with opportunities to be REALLY be courageous and we don’t take it?  Have ever heard any of these statements before?  Even inside your own head?

  • “Oh my god, I can’t believe he is still talking!  These meetings are always about him.  I wish someone would say something…”
  • “Did she really just use that word?  I wonder if she offended all the people of color in room?  Should I say something…”
  • “My boss is such a jerk.  She’s such a control freak and won’t let me do anything new….”
  • “I wish I had any authority over that but that’s not really in my job description…”
  • “WE think that’s totally important but it’s our FUNDERS who are the problem.  You know, we don’t want to lose our funding…”
  • “WE think that’s totally important but the BUREAUCRACY is so messed up.  What can we do…”
  • “That sounds incredible!  But, we don’t have enough time…”
  • That sounds incredible!  But, we don’t have enough money…”
  • “That sounds incredible!  But, this is way we have always done it…so…”

I love that quote: “Hope is wishing something would happen.  Faith is believing something will happen.  Courage is making something happen.”  I have always been proud of how hopeful I am.  I always have faith that things can get better (well, most of the time).  But today, I wonder how courageous I am.  As I step out in the world today, I am sure I will presented with many opportunities to actually walk my talk.  I will notice when I take those opportunities to be courageous and when I don’t.  I invite you to join me.