Over at Poetic Bloomings, the prompt today is all about Heroes, real or imaginary, sung or unsung. I also think today is about courage; the acknowledgement of courage.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
~ Winston Churchill
One of the most compelling characteristics of Heroes is that their response typically is “I was just doing my job.” Or, it sometimes is “I did nothing different than anyone else would have done.” If you really step back and listen, more often than not, you will hear yourself saying those very words in response to heartfelt gratitude by another. While life is a gift, it takes a great amount of personal courage to make something of it. Courage is a basic human virtue that renders us dauntless in the face of adversity. Adversity, as you well know, comes in all shapes and sizes these days.
Let me share with you 12 every day actions that each require a good doze of courage:
- The courage to take responsibility: It is too easy to place blame on others when situations do not work out well. When you own the responsibility in spite of the fear of consequences, that is courage.
- The courage to live with integrity: It is too easy to take the easy street some times even though they conflict from your inner values. When you stick to your path and your core beliefs despite the hardship, that is courage.
- The courage to challenge “Your Stories”: It is too easy to insist that your interpretation of the world is the only truth. When you are willing to question your beliefs and assumptions, that is courage.
- The courage to dream bigger: It is too easy to confine our dreams to the limits of our personal experience. When you dare yourself to dream big and reach for the unknown potential beyond, that is courage.
- The courage to be who you are: It is too easy to succumb to the pressures of society to be within the norm. When you express your genuine authentic self, that is courage.
- The courage to speak up: It is too easy to fall prey to group think and passively react to the injustices about you. When you dare yourself to speak up and voice your concerns against popular opinion, that is courage.
- The courage to step boldly into action: It is too easy to fear failure and become inactive and ineffective. When you fear regret more than you fear failure, that is courage.
- The courage to persevere: It is too easy throw you hands up and throw in the towel in this day and age. When you reach within to harness that last ounce of resolve and surge forth unsure of success, that is courage.
- The courage to say “No”: It is too easy to agree in a society that relies on compliance. When you refuse and define your boundaries, that is courage.
- The courage to open your heart fully: It is too easy to shield the heart in a world full of antagonism and apathy. When you open your heart to life’s pain as well as its joy, that is courage.
- The courage to let go: It is too easy to try to control every moment and every outcome in our lives. When you give up resisting what you can’t control and go with the flow of life, that is courage.
- The courage to be a leader: It is too easy to decide to only concern yourself with your own fate. When you take on the welfare of others as they follow your shining light, that is courage.
The Red Poppy
By: Meena Rose
I wonder if anyone will notice;
I wonder if anyone will care
That I no longer festoon myself
With a red poppy lapel pin.
My remembrances and my goodbyes;
London burning and the endless cries;
The Blitz – the ever present fear
That Judith and our unborn child survived.
My remembrances and my goodbyes;
My anger, my dread, my sorrow, my grief;
All things to be honored privately;
I am the last of those who remember
What it was like to be at brink of
Oblivion and what it was like to
Look the enemy in the eye and
Offer up a prayer for their mothers
As I snuffed the light out of their sons
Never once wavering till it was all done;
With each kill, I lost a piece of my heart;
With each kill, I prayed less and less;
With each kill, I lost pieces of humanity
Becoming a man-beast who was bone weary
Man wanting to go home and wondering if
There was still a home to return to.
And then, just like it started, it ended;
We, as a world, remembered lessons
That I now feel are long forgotten;
Our nations forever at the ready to
Descend into war’s hellish embrace;
Our remembrance, mere lip service;
Can we turn this holiday sideways,
Recognize the service and teach peace?