Courage is an interesting thing. The image that I connect it with is a warrior, a soldier, a fighter. Maybe because throughout the Old Testament two words that go hand-in-hand seem to be "strong and courageous", and always referring to a time of war. So naturally I think of physical acts when I hear the word courage. Big moments like running into a burning house (with someone trapped inside, otherwise that's plain idiotic), saving a drowning victim, taking a bullet for somebody, all of that Good Samaritan stuff. Sometimes the things less extreme may be missed as courageous. Sometimes even the subtle things we do on a daily basis. And thus, lately, the word courage has brought a slightly different perspective for me.
I admire the people who pull others aside to tell them their strengths and appreciation for whatever they've done, highlighting the good qualities about them. It's not easy to do, as it leaves the encourager in a place of vulnerability. I think this is why sometimes people don't encourage others enough, or more than they'd like to. Too many times I find myself thinking how I'd like to thank a person for the contribution they've made in my life, or the contribution they've made to another individual, or society as a whole. What stops me? I would say it's a humbling thing when you are able to see a person's quality and speak up to them about it, rather than keep it to yourself.
There are times when I just want to shoot someone [an email] and congratulate them on an accomplishment, or that I know has had a rough couple of days/weeks/months and tell them I'm wishing them well. What stops me? I commend the ones who are quick to offer encouraging words to others, because to me that does take courage.
p.s. You may be wondering what the title is about. Not only is it my newest favorite catch-phrase, it's also a directive for this blog I read regularly. (don't you just love the url?)