on Courage

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” ~ Mark Twain

What is courage? I know that many of us often equate courage with risking one’s physical life for the sake of a cause or of another human being, but that is not always the case. While courage is often displayed by our soldiers, or our first responders, I am of the belief that a courageous heart begins long before the decision is made to sacrifice oneself to save another. True courage comes when one chooses to live their life standing for the right thing; I don’t think the choice to risk one’s life comes at the last minute. Courageous men and women have usually already been practicing courage in every area of their lives.

So how does one practice courage? Well, that is done through sacrifice. Rarely are we called upon to risk our physical lives for something, but all of us are usually called upon at one time or another to risk a part of our lives for something bigger. Sometimes it is time, sometimes it is popularity, sometimes it is friendships, sometimes it is a job promotion, sometimes it is even the job itself. The main requirement of courage is always sacrifice, and unfortunately, far too many Americans feel this can be done by proxy, i.e. expecting others to do it on their behalf.

In my political travels I have certainly encountered a lot of frustration from the populace regarding the state of affairs in our country. They complain about Democrats, they complain about Republicans, they expect our elected leaders to do better, be better, exhibit honor, bravery and be worthy of trust. And rightly they should. However, as I probed deeper, I discovered that few of these complainers voted in very election (city, school, county, state), even fewer had contacted their elected officials, and even less gave up personal time and energy to lobby for change. Some even indignantly said that they are so tired of voting for the lesser of two evils that they refused to participate altogether, and stopped voting entirely. I ask you this – is that what a courageous American looks like?

There is only one person who has ever walked on water, and sadly, He is not running for office. I hate to break it to you, but since our political choices will always be limited to human beings, we will always be choosing between the imperfect, the lesser of two evils. So get over it. And keep in mind this: the electoral choices which present themselves are a direct reflection of the level of courage the American populace has to get involved in the process. So, if you don’t like your choices my dearies, then perhaps you should get off your pretty butts and get involved. Stop being the frustrated excuse-makers and become the bold participators.

Ask yourself this: do I have the courage to give up some personal time for the sake of our country? Or give up some football? Or some money? Or even alienate some friends?  If more of us were willing to do this, we would become a force to be reckoned with – no entity, not even a corrupt government – has long stood before men and women of purpose who refuse to be distracted by the comfort of this world.  So kiss your spouse, close that tailgate, put down the remote, sharpen your pencil, stretch your typing fingers, raise your voice and join the rest of us trying to move this liberty-killing mountain of government back to its Constitutional boundaries. Our Republic needs you. You have a part to play because you are worthy, because you are an American and because Americans just don’t put up with this kind of crap.

Courage. It’s not always about dying. Sometimes it’s just about dying to self.

What really counts is not the immediate act of courage or of valor, but those who bear the struggle day in and day out — not the sunshine patriots but those who are willing to stand for a long period of time”. ~ U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Remarks at the White House to Members of the American Legion (70), March 1, 1962, Public Papers of the Presidents: John F. Kennedy, 1962

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