On Courage

I was sorting through the files and folders of my laptop when I came across this question I asked the kids a few years ago. I remember saying and asking this out of the blue while we were discussing courage, then I typed down the lecture/question after class so I wouldn’t forget.

“When we were kids, we’d be the bravest people on the planet. We’d jump from the highest step in the staircase, climb the highest bars, swing from one branch to another; we were never afraid to get our hands dirty and discover. We were never afraid to tell what we feel. We were never afraid to believe– in Peter Pan, in Neverneverland, in Narnia, in magic. When we were kids, it was always so very easy to say the truth, and so very easy to say ‘I love you’, and ‘I hate you’. Then we grew up, and suddenly we start being scared. We develop all these phobias that were never really there when we were children: heights, darkness, water, elevators, enclosed spaces, bugs, and cockroaches… truth and love and commitment and honesty. We start to doubt, and question, and second-guess. We lose hope and faith. Why is it that when we grow older, instead of being braver, we become more afraid?”

And then a few months ago, I came across a(n) (e)book and saw this. I never got to share this with my kids:

“He’d never laid claim to being a brave man and he’d only got more cowardly with age. Strange thing, that — the fewer years you have to lose the more you fear the losing of ’em. Maybe a man just gets a stock of courage when he’s born, and wears it down with each scrape he gets into.”

The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie

I stopped reading after I saw that passage.

But only because I had other work to finish.

Featured image credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/qjd_Els_mSo/hqdefault.jpg

On Courage was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Some Days: A Memo to the Tired, the Weary, the Exhausted

Some days, you just want to give up, yeah?

Some days, you’re all fired up and ready to take on the world, and some days you just want to curl up in your bed and just be.

Some days, you’re the hero, while some days you just want to stand still and not give a damn as you watch the whole world burn.

There are days like that, when the wait is long and the spirit is weak; when the heart yearns and the body aches and the mind just wants to shut down. It happens when you look at your dreams and you see that long stretch of road ahead of you, and you’re out of breath and so, so tired — so very tired — but there’s still no sign of the finish line. You look on ahead and you wonder if you’re even getting anywhere, because one step you take after another just leads you nowhere.

And then you see them. All those people running past you, all glowing and happy and energetic and on fire, on brilliant, blinding fire, and you look at yourself and you wonder when it was exactly that your own fire started to flicker, and why hadn’t you noticed it? You didn’t even know that you got dimmer and dimmer until it was too late, until you’ve all but died down.

It’s not cool. Some days, you’re just not cool at all.

Those days, those times when you’re most uncool, those are the times you’d feel like giving up. It’s easiest to give up on those days, when hope is but a flickering flame ready to die at the slightest whisper of the wind, and your body is one push away from keeling over. Oh, how sweet it would be to just stop running, to stop fighting, to stop chasing an impossible, impossible dream.

But then, if you quit, then that’s the end of it. If you quit, then that’s it. It’s over. You’re done.

And that sucks all the more. That’s even sadder. So, very sad.

So I guess, on the days that you are tired and nothing seems to be working anymore — not your dreams, not your plans, not your goals, not even your freaking body weight — stop.

Stop and breathe. Take a minute, or two, or five, or an entire day if it helps you sleep at night, to just rest.

Just rest. And remember. Remember your dreams. Remember who you are. Remember what you’re doing this for.

And if you still see that long stretch of road ahead of you, try not to despair. Look back instead and marvel at the long stretch of road behind you, and give yourself a pat on the back for getting as far as where you are right now.

Because on days you feel like crap, your dreams are crap, your efforts are crap, realize that it’s not really about how far you still have to go. It’s about how far you’ve already come.

Then maybe, just maybe, you realize that it’s not such a bad day, after all.

 

1904
Karren Renz Seña
11 March 2015
Photo credit: http://kurtbubna.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Give-up-dark-street.jpg

Some Days: A Memo to the Tired, the Weary, the Exhausted was originally published on BECOMING CHAMPIONS