How We All Are Courageous

Person in boat

By Julie Bock, Congregation President 2016-18

In popular culture, when faced with overwhelming odds people who triumph are said to be courageous. And while that is certainly true, it’s a high bar to set, leaving the rest of us to write our own stories without the consideration of our own courageousness. I think this is incredibly sad as well as inaccurate.

Courage is defined as the ability to do something that frightens one or strength in the face of pain or grief. I think this definition applies to every single human on the face of the earth. You may say, “Julie, how could you know that?” Well, I don’t for sure. But, what I do know is that human beings, of all sorts, face challenges every day. Things you and I may take for granted and ignore but to them are horrifying and often-times immobilizing. They breathe through their fright and soldier on.

Maybe for you, it’s spiders, snakes or heights. Or separation from and the death of beloveds. Perhaps it’s the inability to live in the way you’ve become accustomed due to either insufficient resources or infirmity. No matter what it is you face, it is terrifying to you and causes you some kind of pain.

And yet, most of the time we pause for a moment. We assess the problem as rationally as we are able and create a plan to address it. We ask for help. Often this is called coping and that’s accurate but not nearly honoring of the audacious act of living as it ought to be. Each and every day we are faced with challenges, both big and small, that could literally tear away our hearts and souls. And despite that terrifying reality, we persevere. It’s called living.

And so I challenge each of you to name your courageousness. It is time to acknowledge ourselves and the fiercely brave people we are. One way you can do this is to participate in Our Courageous Future: Deepening Our Vision Together workshops that your Board of Trustees are holding throughout October. These workshops are the first opportunity you have to help the Board listen to your hopes and dreams and to courageously build our future. I hope you’ll join me on this journey, for yourself and our congregation.

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