Guest Post by Jennifer Brown Banks
“Live your life with courage. It’s from this that all other virtues come.”
When most people think about courage, they think of heroic acts like firefighter rescues, or the good Samaritan that foils a robbery attempt, or the soldier that goes to war to defend the liberties of our country.
Even when we as writers “craft” heroes or protagonists in our creative pieces, we pen them with the power to leap buildings, or defy bullets, or as possessing super human strength.
But the good news is that courage doesn’t have to be brazen or bold. We can tap into it as mere “mortals.”
Courage can be something as simple as making a tough decision to challenge the status quo. Or it can be trying something different that takes us out of our comfort zone–like quitting a job or moving to a new city.
As such, we don’t have to look to characters in the novels that we read to be inspired or to embrace it.
Here are five real life examples where we can show courage, and grow mentally and spiritually, so we become that super hero we admire!
Episodes in courage…
The Courage to Forgive Others
This is not to offend. But it amazes me that some people can hold a grudge longer than they can hold a job. Hello? I’ve heard of family members that didn’t speak to each other for years over a simple misunderstanding. Or women who “can never forgive” the man that broke their heart. And this is certainly not to trivialize anyone’s feelings; but many times we must summon the courage to look beyond other’s faults and indiscretions and simply move on. Why? Because in so doing, it allows us to be “free.” Free from anger, free from being a victim, free from wasted energy. A bitter heart blocks the beauty of life. Leave it to karma to even the score, if you feel you were unjustifiably wronged. You’ll sleep better too.
The Courage to Forgive Ourselves
Nobody’s perfect. And most of us, given the days of our youth, would probably admit that there would be some aspect of our lives that we’d do differently, if we could turn back the hands of time. We can’t. Consider that the lessons you made from those mistakes and the wisdom and strength gained, helped you to become more realized and more empathetic to other people’s experiences and pain. There’s always a trade-off in life.
The Courage to be Different
The media, fads, and cultural dictates often cause us to wear what others wear, emulate their actions, and buy into their way of thinking, in order to be socially accepted, and part of the “in crowd.” But as intelligent adults, it’s important to recognize that independent thinking, based upon our own personal values, lifestyles, personality, and goals will provide for a much better quality of life and long-term satisfaction.
The Courage to Love
Opening our hearts can be scary. Truth is, there are no guarantees in love. It renders us vulnerable. It often makes us do silly things and breaks down our defenses. It can cloud our judgment. And it can go terribly wrong and cause us to have a “achey breaky heart.” But living without love is like living in a world void of color. Can you imagine how bland that would be? Take a chance. There’s great truth to the adage: “It is better to have lived and loved than never to have loved at all.” Make 2013 a year of passion in all areas of your life.
The Courage to Stand up for our Convictions
Whether it’s the courage to speak up for someone who is unfairly being gossiped about at work, delivering our own “truths” as writers, or defending our religious beliefs, sometimes standing up for our principles really takes courage. But, you don’t need to “preach” to teach. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Sometimes the best sermon is a good example.”
These are just five simple ways we can redefine courage in the way that we live, and realize we all have the potential to become heroes in the decisions that we make daily.
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, ghost writer and pro blogger. Her work has appeared in various blogs and magazines including: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, and Technorati.
Her blog, Pen and Prosper, was recently chosen as one of “The Power 100”–Best blogs for Modern Writers in 2013.