To me, courage starts first in the heart maybe because of its Latin root, cor or heart; maybe it’s because courage seems different from its synonymous twin, bravery. Bravery looks more like heroic deeds on or off the battlefields of life, but courage may or may not end in apparent heroism. Courage is the strength to act on the truths we hold within our hearts, regardless of how that might look to our neighbors. Courage moves us toward authenticity as it seeks to align our actions with our feelings.
How frightening it is to live in this world, feelings inside out, and yet that’s where courage leads us. It strengthens our hearts to answer with truth when someone asks, “how are you”, for courage doesn’t ask us to put on a brave face. It gives us the words to voice our heartfelt convictions, and to consider opposing viewpoints. Courage helps us to admit a change of heart or apologize for a wrongdoing.
Today, think about all the acts of courage that go unnoticed around us, teachers who put their lives on the line for their students’ education, victims of trauma that are able to leave their homes for the first time in months, children who stand up for their friends when they are bullied, and folks that show up to vote sidestepping obstructions in their path. All around us, people are allowing courage into their hearts. All around us, people are saying no to fear. May their courage awaken the courage we carry in our own hearts.