Courage

CourageMandela and Gandhi

A little bit of courage goes a long way in us ordinary folks.  Most of us are never thrust into situations that require big courage to meet and conquer.

It’s rare indeed that we get a chance to rescue people out of a burning building, or save a life in a traffic accident situation.  The heros of our military got and seized a chance to exhibit extraordinary courage on the battlefield.  For every one of those, there are 10,000 regular soldiers that exhibit ordinary courage, the courage to do their job,

For most of us, courage is taking a stand, and sticking to it.  Little bits of individual courage are the way huge wholesale changes are made in society.

The woman’s Suffrage movement of the 19th century had a star studded list of leaders that campaigned tirelessly to get women the vote, but it wasn’t until individual men and women became willing to take a stand, to take public ridicule and hatred that women became eligible to vote,  It took those individuals with little courage to make the change that needed to be made.

Big Courage

In the generation before mine, the man that stood with courage would be Mahatmas Gandhi.  He was the face of a movement that ended the colonial system that had held sway on earth since the Babylonians decided to seize Syria.  Singular courage and dedication, indeed.

In my time, Nelson Mandela was that man. He was the face of a line of courage that defeated a system of neglect and abuse that had long outlived any usefulness if ever it had any.  Nelson Mandela was a courageous leader of epic proportions, of that there can be no question.  That he was a great man, and worthy of our admiration is without question. He will be missed on the face of this earth, and remembered for a long time.

Trickle Down Courage

I believe that men like Gandhi and Mandela create a wide circle of influence.  I think the epic sacrifices and courage in the face of overwhelming odds inspire us regular folks to take a small stand against things like bullying and police brutality and the like.  Big courage inspires little courage, little courage inspires change.

Take a stand.  It doesn’t take much of a stand to make a collective difference.  Maybe ethical business, maybe honest customer support, or empowering the mass.  Little tiny bits of courage make huge changes, and we can all stand in the shadow of Nelson Mandela.

And in the End

In the words of my father “ You gotta have something worth dying for, else you have nothing worth living for.”

I’m just sayin’

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