Stories with heroes who persevered, who vanquished evil, who faced natural and supernatural challenges, who made sacrifices to a greater good. Those stories stick in my head like all the fairy tales of my childhood.
I’m learning courage comes in a variety of forms. Then I look around and realize we’re seeing a lot of courage in real time.
Think about the courageous people out there:
~The parent trying to figure out how to feed their kids when unemployment insurance gives out or never arrives. The ones juggling work from home with family under foot. Or, struggling to make the best decision for their kid’s schooling this year.
~The adult child dealing with an aging parent, who may or may not have COVID-19, in a nursing home or not, impossible to touch or hug.
~The teenager caring for sick parents or waiting on test results themselves.
Then there are the medical professionals worldwide who go to work every day with a lack of medical equipment or PPE while trying to treat too many patients so ill with a disease they don’t know how to cure.
The relief workers, the ambulance workers, the shelter volunteers, the food bank workers, the list goes and on and on.
All of them showing everyday courage to go forward when the world seems to be falling apart around them. Sure, they get mad sometimes or break down completely, sobbing uncontrollably. But the key is they pick themselves up and dust themselves off and go back into the fray.
That’s real-time courage, friends.
Courage is not something you think about or read about. It’s something you do. It’s people who risk their own health and their family’s health to stock shelves or deliver packages every day since this nightmare began. It’s frontline workers risking their lives to save others.
This COVID-10 pandemic demands courage from all of us. And, after this is over (whatever after looks like) these everyday heroes are going to linger in our minds. Same as fiction heroes and superheroes.
We’re not born with courage. If we ask any of these people about their courage, they’ll deny being courageous at all. “I did what I had to do.” or “I didn’t do enough.”
Courage is stepping up to the moment and moving forward, even when forward is uncertain or alarming and just plain scary sometimes.
Look at these people and be inspired. Find your courage. We will get through this. Together.