It’s an interesting thing — courage. Some of us seem to have lots of it, and others not so much. Why is that? Why do some people seem to head off into the unknown more easily than others?
Here are 3 facts about courage that might shed some light on the issue:
You DON’T HAVE COURAGE when you’re born;
You OBTAIN COURAGE by doing uncomfortable stuff; and
You INCREASE YOUR AMOUNT OF COURAGE by using it.
And, most importantly you NEED LOTS OF IT if you want to effect change.(SIDE NOTE: If you’re seeking to effect change, make sure the change you seek is sound, logical and needed. Change for the sake of change is just a waste of time)
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
It goes almost without saying that it takes a significant amount of courage to change the status quo — especially something that is cherished or longstanding. It’s not uncommon to be confronted with a pretty strong emotional response from some when you suggest a change. It takes courage to withstand it’s onslaught.
I love it when I find something completely unrelated to public education and I can find a fit for it. That happened to me recently when I read a blog from the BC Epilepsy Society entitled “Empowering Yourself During COVID-19 (April 17, 2020)”. The blog is about the emotional state of FEAR and how it can paralyze us — keeping us from moving forward in a time of uncertainty.
Fear … it prevents us from thinking rationally and instead puts us into an emotional firestorm — a mindset that debilitates us from finding a reasonable solution to the new situation. Now, don’t misunderstand me. Fear is natural and useful — it has a place in keeping us safe. But, that time is in the initial instant we are confronted with a danger — that grizzly bear staring at us on the hiking trail. Fear of that bear elevates our senses and our reactivity — the fight or flight response. What it doesn’t do is allow us to be contemplative, rational and thoughtful.
No … sorry, not you … I’m actually talking to me. It’s been quite the year. But, if you also need to take one … please, be my guest.
I have to admit that I’m feeling pretty worn out right about now — there’s not a whole lot left in the gas tank. All of the change that’s happened this year — it’s been really tiring. As much as I believe in change — and I do — this has been one heckuva year!