The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy."
John F. Kennedy
Heroes in Our Midst
There are many aspects to the definition of courage but the one that usually comes to mind is the ability to act in a heroic way. To be a hero or to display the quality of courage does not mean that one is fearless; courage is the capability to be in action and to move forward with your fear. Acting without regard for self in order to help another is the epitome of the courageous act. And as you are well aware, over this past week we have witnessed many acts of extraordinary courage. I would venture to guess that if you asked some of the people who rushed to aid others during the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing I am sure you would hear them say that they acted out of an almost instinctual drive to help, regardless of the fear they were experiencing. We call them heros and we have witnessed their feats of valor in every past disaster and undoubtedly, we will meet them again and again in the future tragedies that may come.
Watching the heroism, courage and strength displayed by hundreds of people in Boston, Cambridge and Watertown compelled me to to contemplate the courage that I witness in the ordinary, uneventful day. Weekly, daily, hourly, I encounter the every-day-hero. These are the heroes that you have never seen on television, they are seldom written about online. You won't find their names in the newspaper nor will you hear them interviewed on the radio. These are the heroes that live quietly every day next-door to you and me. You pass them on the street without a second thought, they wait on you at restaurants, they scan your groceries at the market, they live their lives with quiet, unheralded courage.
When I think of the "every-day hero" I see people in my family. I see the faces of friends and I recollect the stories shared with me by my clients. I reflect on the courage I have witnessed which was garnered ever so reluctantly through unthinkable loss. I know many who move through their days courageously carrying overwhelming grief, having lost a child, beloved family member, friend or lover. Their grace mystifies me. Others have shown steadfast courage and strength in the face of that which seems inevitable and unchangeable. These heroes have faced disease, devastation or loss of home. When it comes to friends I am very fortunate. They have taught me how to be unafraid to stand up and speak out in the midst of adversity. While others have shown me how to have the courage to simply and quietly just do what needs to be done. I have learned about the courage to never give up and to always give the best you know how. I thank my husband for that. He smoothly maneuvers through life as an amputee, uncomplaining and fiercely independent.
Life is extremely challenging. Sometimes it seems there is no rhyme or reason for what happens in the world. The world can feel like a dark place. But in the madness, in the chaos, there is a vibration of the energy that I call love. A quality of that vibratory field is courage and it exists in you and in me. Somehow we manage to find the thread of light in the darkness. We take hold of that thread and we weave a cloth of healing and renewal. We survive, go forth, heal and love again.
Many of you reading this are every-day-heroes moving forward courageously, no matter how hard the day seems, no matter what burdens you bear, what sadness you are experiencing. You are my heroes, each and every one of you. I honor you and thank you for your courage, for your fortitude and for enriching my life.
Love and light,
Courage lives inside of me. I face the day with strength, fortitude and the infinite energy of love