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My first thought was Martin Luther King jr.. When I was a teenager, his courageous commitment for his fellow people, to stand up against injustice and his fighting for human rights. It was the first time that I got in contact with other ideas than what I had experienced so far. His pure love for humanity touched me deeply.
I think that those who are brave enough to be kind to others who are being cast out by their societies. I know that this is a bit vague and general. But I feel that taking action that runs counter to what those around you are doing–particularly to aid the less fortunate–requires tremendous insight, compassion, and–of course–bravery.
What came to mind for me was my Mother’s courage when she was 59 years old and diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She lived her life to the fullest for 5 more years, changed her diet, exercised and traveled with my Dad. Focused and spoiled her grandchildren (my children). They moved near the Ocean (Her love) and continued to work part-time as a school nurse because she loved her work. Even though she wasn’t always feeling well she never let that discourage her from having hope for a cure.
I think we are all courageous as we navigate and explore this incredible mystery.
All those who face imminent danger and proceed anyway!
Those women’s who stand up to their aggressors or leave their violent partners, the police, firefighters, soldiers, those who practice their religion under threat, unwed mothers, and many more examples! I always wondered what i might do in those situations. I hope that I would have the courage to do the right thing.
These folks and examples shake me out of my routine to look for opportunities to go beyond myself.
My wife who recently passed. I would define courage as someone that kept her heart open while faced with major obstacles which for her was terminal cancer with associated severe pain. She was/is an inspiration to many including me and this combination she lived allowed her to accomplish what are considered heroic or defined in our culture as courageous. This is in contrast to one that acts with a closed heart which I would define as reactionary and not courageous. The result may be considered as heroic but my view is more about skills and not courage.
I am sorry for your loss, John. Your wife was/is clearly a blessing in your life.
The invisible people: those experiencing homelessness, poverty, food insecurity, famine, death and suffering from treatable diseases, – the forgotten.
This question reminds me of the story of a man who prayed to God about his cross. If I remember it correctly, he ask God if he could trade his cross for the cross of another. God said, “Sure” and showed him the crosses of others he knew, both family and friends. Then God showed him his own cross. His cross was much smaller than most. Courage is such an interesting word. It dwells in the heart. I performed as a Biblical story teller for many years and I was planning a series of presentations for an upcoming retreat. For that setting, I was delivering dramatic monologues in full costume. I always told the stories through the eyes of a character that could have realistically witnessed them. I was previewing the story of the Passion for the retreat director and when I finished telling the story of the Passion through the eyes of a maid to the high priest, she said. “We’ve all heard this story read many times but hearing an eye witness account takes it from the head to the heart.” For me, any one who leads from the heart is courageous. The compassion of others has sustained me over and over.
People everywhere that are struggling, but still manage to be kind to themselves and to others. This kind of courage inspires me to keep moving forward, day by day. Looking at my life with clear eyes and an open heart.
So many have insp me. Right now I think of the people in Ukraine. Also people who are struggling with this bitter cold weather.
My father is 90 and had a stroke 14 years ago and needs a cane and ankle brace to walk. My stepmother is 87 and uses a walker to keep from falling. The both came down with covid after Thanksgiving. Hit my father the worst. He was in the hospital for 11 days. Both are still living in their home with in-home nurses for 2/3rds of the day. My two sisters who live close by and my older sister who lives 60 miles away are filling in the slack and weekends. My father is depressed and wants to leave the planet. He does not want to talk on the phone. I live 1000 miles away and my brother lives 500 miles away. I applaud the courage of my sisters and the home care nurses who are lovingly helping my parents.
So grateful for the caregivers! I could have written your post. My dad passed away a month ago at the age of 89 1/2 from covid related symptoms, my mom survived covid, she is 91 1/2. They too lived alone, now my sisters and brothers are helping with her care since she is weak after having covid. I am so grateful to all of them . I live far away but I am flying back to help and give everyone a break. The situation is unsustainable, they all have their families to support as well. I pray everyday for an answer to our situation with mom. It breaks my heart. Yes, I too applaud the courage of my siblings for taking this situation into their hands. Blessings to you and your loved ones.
I am always moved by stories I’ve heard or read of people who survived the Holocaust. I work with many South East Asians and East African refugees who endured challenging living conditions in camps prior to coming to the US. I’m also inspired by people who’ve forgiven those who’ve murdered family members or egregious assaults against themselves. I’m inspired by hearing the tenacity of the human spirit to embrace Grace and survive all odds.
The people who don’t know how courageous they are and would never describe themselves as such inspire me. Who give to others and show up in life as best they can, in spite of economic or health limitations.
The people that are going through any
sickness and are strong . They don’t let
the sickness defeat them or change
their gratefulness life. My prayers for
all of you that are going through
hard times. Dios los bendiga.
Our granddaughter, Madison, inspires me. Maddie had two strokes in utero two days before she was born, leaving her with some cognitive impairment, limited use of her left arm and hand, and a stroke damaged right hand and right foot. Now, 17 years old, Maddie’s favorite sport is basketball, and she competes regularly in Special Olympics events and games, and loves swimming at the beach nearly every day during the summer.
Whenever I find myself struggling with my own limitations I think about Maddie, and what she endures on a daily basis, and suddenly my challenges are met with newfound endurance.
How beautiful! What a blessing she is.
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