The question of courage came up in conversation. There is the kind of courage displayed going into a burning building to rescue someone. Or, what it takes to go into battle. Or, the extraordinary strength and courage a mother displays keeping a child safe. The less dramatic kind it takes to get up in front of a crowd and give a talk. Or stand up to a boss or even a friend. They all demonstrate the kind of courage we display occasionally. But there is another kind of courage. The kind that we display every day as we go about our jobs, tasks and projects. The courage we display as we face our fears. And, we all have them. Some are buried deeper than others but they are present. It’s existential courage. The courage to be human.
Seen from that perspective, just showing each day is an act of faith that we will be successful and safe. Enduring courage is following our dreams and living from integrity. And, most importantly, following our heart. Those are the things that endure. Fame, wealth, celebrity is nothing if we don’t do the above. We are at a strange time in our culture when the pursuit of wealth is seen as success. Caring about and for the good of the many, seeing the larger picture are not as important in this time period.
I recently saw an English film, Hampstead, about a man, Daniel, who built a shack on a plot of overgrown land in a fashionable suburb. He lived there for 17 years and grew his own food, fished, created his own electricity, recycled everything. All is well until a developer wants the land to build hi rise apartments. He sends eviction notices to Daniel, who ignores them. The case comes to trial. Since Daniel has never paid taxes, owned a car, etc., he is unable to prove he has lived that long on the land, which would provide him with squatter’s rights. Until the man who helped him build the shack shows up with a paper from the hospital he went to when he drove a nail into his hand. The paper explains what he was treated for and the date, plus the place he was when the accident occurred. The judge gives the land worth over a million dollars to Daniel, who then gives it to someone who builds a place to house the homeless.
People looked down on Daniel for not owning anything. Yet, he was that very special person who lived from integrity, followed his heart and took responsibility for his impact on the planet. It’s a strange world when those qualities are not the ones looked upon as admirable.
The questions for all of us- do we have the courage to live a life of integrity or do we follow the rules set by a culture that is often closed hearted? What do we value? Why?
For all of us there are times when we don’t feel courageous. But trust it’s there when you need it.
My best to you,
Dianne, Accountability Coach