Thursday, June 2, 2011

#trust30 - Day 3

One Strong Belief by Buster Benson

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?
(Author: Buster Benson)
I believe courage is the most important of human qualities. Most people I know might say it's love, or leadership, or patience, or wisdom, or understanding, or intelligence. But they are mistaken--it is courage.

How do I know? Simple. It is courage that enables all the others. Without courage, love, leadership, patience, wisdom, understanding, and intelligence are impossible. In fact--here's a little secret:

Every action starts with courage. Without courage, nothing happens.

Because it's not just about standing up when people are shooting at you, or running into a burning building to save a child. Those are courage, without a doubt; but so is going day after day to a job you don't like because your family depends on you. So is standing up in a meeting and taking responsibility for a mistake. So is telling your wife you forgot to send the check. So is answering a child's question with "I don't know," or telling her "I was wrong." Heck, just getting out of bed takes courage--you know the bed will be warm and soft, and you don't know what the world will bring you after you get out of it.

Courage is choosing a path and taking it when you don't know exactly where it will lead. Courage is deciding to be better tomorrow than you are today. Courage is suggesting a better way to your boss, or your parents, or your husband or wife. Courage is standing up in a crowd of strangers and admitting to an addiction. Courage is sharing your words, or your art, or your ideas, or your dreams with people who might not approve. Courage is taking a stand for or against something.

It's what draws me to military history, to history in general. It's what drew me to the Army. Stories of people who did things that were impossible--until they did them. Spending my days among people who might do impossible things. And little by little, I came to realize one does not have to accomplish the impossible to show courage. I still love the stories, but I no longer look down on those who seek other paths.

I don't always live courageously. I don't always take the hard road, even when it's the right road. But most days I seek to make myself better than I was the day before. Some days, I even share some of myself with people I don't know. That's what a writer does, after all.

What is courage to you?

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