Quiet Courage

I heard a line in a TV show that has stuck with me and I have been quite inspired by it (a win for Netflix binging….am I right?!) The line was about people who live lives of “quiet courage.” That description for life is incredibly beautiful. In today’s superstar world there is so much focus on perfection, superstar abilities, being the best and performing great heroic acts of saving the football game, the world, someone’s love life, improving someone’s life, revealing the gender of the baby, or asking for a prom date. We love big public declarations of love, of sacrifice, and drama. We love being the savior, fixing the problem, and focusing on judging all the little things even while we glorify the big ones. We have become so star dazed that we have forgotten the immense beauty in lives of quiet courage.

So, to all the single parents out there slogging through every day being both parents, cook, bill payer, disciplinarian, scheduler, taxi driver, homework helper, and tween fashion expert, you are amazing. Thank you for your love and dedication. People see your hard work even f it comes out as judgment for all the things not perfect and not done. That is quiet courage.

If you have severe depression and all you can manage today is to get a shower and change your clothes – good job, that took an act of enormous effort. That is quiet courage.

If you are struggling with a disease and are stuck at home, yet you wake up everyday and try to live that day, good job. Keep going. That is quiet courage.

To all the people out there who work shift work, hang in there with night shifts, crazy shifts, unpredictable shifts, to those who do the often-overlooked work of cleaning, doing the “dirty” work of any business, organizing behind the scenes, thank you! That is quiet courage.

If you get up everyday and slog through life and keep going even though you feel stuck in a rut, it is ok. That kind of quiet courage will bring about rewards someday.

To those in the helping and serving professions (everything from maid to waiter to teacher to nurse to social worker to pastor), thank you for the quiet courage you exhibit every time you help with the messiness of the human existence.

For all of you who stop gossip at your door, who offer simple random acts of kindness, who seek to raise up all people thank you for your quiet courage.

Those among us who try to work as a team, who know that there are some things in this life that really do take a village, thank you for your tireless work to better your community. That is quiet courage.

It is too easy to be completely oblivious to the amount of work, effort, and courage it may take to accomplish something. We are not all in the same place; nor do we all get there by the same path. What for one person is easy is a monumental task for another. We have slowly become a people who expect everyone to be the same and that usually means “the same as us.” One of the problems with that expectation is that it leads to judgment for all that is not the same. Judgment can lead to hate. Hate can lead to violence and violence (whether it is literal physical violence or the subtle violence of passive aggressive emotional abuse) tears apart humanity.

Everyday people start a new business, have a baby, go to a counselor, take that test, apply for a new job, check into a recovery facility, go to the doctor to hear the teat results, go to chemo treatments or dialysis, move, start new lives, open their hearts, or try the gym or a diet one more time. Everyday people get up and try again. Everyday people recommit, try new ventures, and make choices. Everyday people live lives of quiet courage never realizing their immense power and overlooking their value.

Lives of quiet courage are not to be overlooked or undervalued. No one is failure who can live such lives. Without lives of quiet courage there is no foundation to society. Quiet courage is the true stuff of heroes – doing what is right and good without expectation of recognition, award, or a great payday. Quiet courage supports the stars, the bigwigs, the flashy moments in life. Quiet courage inspires great courage. Those lives of quiet courage is what the soldier defends and why he/she can do the big sacrifice. Lives are quiet courage are what the hotshot surgeon mends. These are the lives we bear witness to every time we tip our waiter, don’t leave a terrible mess for the hotel maid, or show up for a parent teacher conference. Lives of quiet courage support others living such a life even while boosting the ones who are the “big lives” with bigger sacrifice and louder fame. There is a place for superstar lives and for quiet lives. One is not less than the other.

Today’s chatter: Do not undervalue your life or the life and effort of another. Do recognize the quiet courage and be inspired.

Today’s Coping Skill: Instead of listing all your perceived failures and ever growing todo items, list what you have accomplished and all that you have done – and yes, regular daily chores and taking care of yourself items count!

Today’s Garden Thought: While weeds do need to be picked to have the “perfect” flower garden, getting too focused on the weeks means you might miss the incredible beauty in front of you.

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