During October we will explore the theme of COURAGE. I imagine that most of us don’t consider ourselves courageous, but we are. Every single day we rise to meet the world—our world—the way it is. We meet our bodies and minds with all the challenges they encounter and we engage the world with the resources available to us. I call that courage. Being together in community often helps us take the next step or find ways to live peacefully with our limitations and find strength we didn’t know we had.
The introduction to the Soul Matters Small Group Packet this month articulates the essence of COURAGE:
Here’s what we have to help each other remember: In addition to the heroic acts that alter history, there are also the daily choices that prevent history from altering us! Bending the arc of the universe toward justice deserves praise, but so does the ordinary work of integrity and not allowing yourself to be bent.
We need to make room on the path for these common acts of courage. The bravery of embracing your beauty even when it doesn’t fit the air-brushed images surrounding us. The courage of calling out microaggressions that occur daily for many of us. And what about resisting the persistent seduction of status and stuff? Simply put, the list is long: Turning down that drink one day at a time. Making yourself get out of bed when the depression tells you to stay there. Holding your partner’s hand in public. Make no mistake, there are dozens of ordinary acts of bravery we embody every day!
Or maybe we should say there are dozens of ordinary acts of bravery we help each other embody every day. This we need to remember as well. Courage is not only noble; it’s contagious. The bravery that makes it into the history books may save the world, but our ordinary courage keeps each other going. Watching someone else make it through another day helps us endure. Witnessing someone else confront bigotry allows us to bravely be more open about who we are. They say that courage is found by digging deep, but most often it is passed on.
So don’t worry so much if you haven’t changed the world yet. And certainly let’s stop comparing ourselves with those giants. Our work rests less in looking up to them and more in looking over at each other. And in remembering that others are looking over at and needing strength from us.
This month let us both offer and receive the strength we all need to be courageous in our daily lives.
Let us take one more step today that celebrates our life and our courage. Terre