Courage and Dr. Martin Luther King

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?

But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” – Dr. Martin Luther King

We talk a lot about courage at Camp Weequahic. Whether it’s reaching out to a new friend who looks like they need some help or getting to the top of the pamper pole and jumping off, courage takes many forms.

But those things are scary! Does that mean courage comes from a person who has no fear? Two lines from a recent story declares it differently:

“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man be brave if he’s still afraid?’ ‘That’s the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.” – George R. R. Martin

A Camp Secret

It may be scary to get on the bus but it’s awesome getting to camp!

Want to know a secret that no one talks about at camp? Here it is: everyone is nervous and a little afraid when they get on the bus to go to camp. First-time campers feel it and so do ninth timers. Heck, even I feel nervous before every summer and our team has been doing this for fifteen years!

What if… the counselors are not as fun as we think? The kids don’t get along? The chicken wings are too spicy… or not spicy enough? The kids in the bunk don’t like me? These are completely honest and normal thoughts!

But, if we allow ourselves to focus only on the fear or nervousness, we’d never move forward. We’d never be as creative. We’d never achieve what we want – to create an amazing experience for everyone we meet using gratitude, attitude, and courage. And you, mighty camper, would never know the joy that comes from being a part of Camp Weequahic.

Courage in Action

In a few days, we will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. He as a great man whose courage knew no boundaries. He stood up, spoke out, and helped shepherd a movement against the hate and ignorance that was holding our country and our humanity back.

Do you think Dr. King was afraid? Absolutely. But his courage was as deep as the oceans and strong as the mountains. His courage, in his own words, allowed him to live a “dangerously unselfish” life.

Dr. King’s courage flowed from his deeply held beliefs for justice and righteousness. His actions and words motivated many both then to do what was right even though it was hard. His life still guides us today.

When we stick together, our courage grows brighter!

Being courageous is not always about the big things. In fact, showing courage is almost always in the small things – sitting with someone who is lonely in the lunch hall, sticking up for a kid who could use some support, or spending time with an elderly person who would love some company.

Find a way to practice your courage this week in little ways. Then, each week, build on it a little bit. Like one of your muscles, courage builds with exercise. Don’t use it and you’ll lose it. Practice it and it will blossom.

Have a great week! With GAC,


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