We are getting very close to our national celebration of fear and mischief. No, I’m not talking about the upcoming the Presidential Election. Halloween is just around the corner! As such, I thought it would be a good time to talk about one of our major values: COURAGE.
There are so many great quotes on courage:
- “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
- “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – J.K. Rowling
- “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
My two favorites come from Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandella, two great teachers who showed extraordinary courage throughout their lives. Ms. Angelou said, “courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
I couldn’t agree more. Honesty sometimes comes with a price. To be charitable, you have to be willing to give what is yours, even if you feel you don’t have enough. Kindness can be difficult to lend in situations that demand it. Patience certainly requires courage to allow the situation to come to the final result. Humility is sometimes described as ‘courage of the heart.’
Ok, so if courage is so important to all the other virtues, then, what is it? Mr. Mandella described it thusly: “courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it.”
At camp, we get to practice that triumph a lot. I use ‘get to’ because, at Weequahic, almost everything is a choice. (Check out our post on friendship to learn about what we require.)
Whether we are jumping off the pamper pole, getting up on stage for the first time, trying something new, or reaching out to build a new friendship, we all practice courage each and every day. The best part is that we get to do it together with friends and mentors who are practicing the same thing.
How are you practicing your courage back home? Just like your muscles, courage gets smaller when not used. Here are some suggestions to grow your courage each day: Be kind to someone when it may be easier to go with the crowd and be mean or, worse, ignore them. Be patient with a younger sibling. Tell the truth. Try something new.
Spend some time with your fear by recognizing it and doing it says you can’t do anyway. When you practice it, your courage will blossom. And, as your courage grows, so will your horizons.
Have a great weekend and a safe Halloween!