North City News
Other writings
Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009 Edith Morris


Catchword Corner

May 2008

Our Ordinary Courage

Courage: the power to let go of the familiar. - Raymond Lindquist
Courage: bravery, boldness, fearless, to act up to what one believes - Oxford Dictionary.
Courage: also known as bravery, will and fortitude, is the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.
'Physical courage' is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, or threat of death, while 'moral courage' is the courage to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement. - Wikipedia

We saw courage displayed right before our eyes in the death and funeral of firefighter Derek Lovell. We witnessed the bravery of our armed forces as they march before us on ANZAC day. We were reminded again of the courageous rescuers of the Wahine disaster. These public displays of courage give us tingles and goose bumps. They settle into our national psyche and we are proud of our heroes.

Sometime the word "courage" is assigned to us, put upon us, even when we are unaware that we are "courageous". Mostly we just go about our ordinary lives doing ordinary things that to others may seem courageous, but not necessarily what we would recognise as being brave. For example, it takes courage to grow old, to face ill health, to juggle limited finances, to confront an abusive partner, to stand up to a crooked boss.

It can take enormous courage for some people to even face another day. I have several friends who wait for their care givers to shower and dress them. I have other friends who face grinding, tormenting, constant pain. When I consider their lives, I would call them courageous friends. Their pain, their bravery is hidden to all but a few, yet how they inspire me. I marvel and feel proud when our athletes participate in the Paralympics or the Special Olympics.

Courage fits into the shape of each one of us. Who knows when we will be called upon to display the courage deep within us? We are created to be courageous at various levels in our every day life, so let's recognise and honour courage in each other.

Courage: "Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" - Joshua 1:9