There are two words that have been hot topics as of lately. Courage and Love. One would not think such words would be controversial topics. The legalizing of same sex marriage has caused the word ‘love’ to be discussed and defined. Bruce Jenner’s transformation to Caitlyn Jenner has caused the word ‘courage’ to be discussed. Even though these two topics and events were entirely different, I group them together in my mind because I believe the same about both. Love is love and courage is courage and it is NOBODY’S right to define or judge either of those. Leave the judgment to God.
One of the reasons I felt so compelled to write about courage specifically is some of the comments and pictures I have seen on social media of people posting pictures of firefighters or marines etc. saying things like “THIS is REAL courage.”
One of the blessings of our country is the freedom to express opinions ideas, etc. But on the other hand it can be hurtful to read as most of these are not opinions or ideas, they are harsh judgments and mean spirited comments. I often wish, we could not so easily hide behind a phone or computer and open up more person to person discussion about such topics. Like minded people “comment” and “like” each other, which does get our world any closer to understanding one another. It just divides us more.
I have been aware of the Transgender population for sometime now and I will be the first to admit that as it became more prevalent in the media, I was very confused yet intrigued by it. I felt confused that God would put someone in a body that wasn’t meant for them and would cause them so much pain and distress. But I also know better than to try and understand God and why he does the things he does. But did I tell somebody who was Transgender that what they were going through was wrong or mental? Did I judge them? NO. My goal has been nothing short of trying to understand it and help my own ignorance before I make any decisions or comments about what I believe.
Comments like “THIS is REAL courage” make me angry and sad for those making them and for those on the other end of all this. That comment alone is insulting to our whole human population. Are people who risk their lives for our country courageous? ABSOLUTELY. But, we have done a disservice to courage by putting it in box. People are struggling and doing courageous things EVERYDAY in their normal lives. You could write a book on all the different ways people exhibit courage.
I see it all the time with the students I work with. There are days when I sit with students and just cry with them. I cry for what they have gone through and and I cry because I wish that at such a young age they didn’t have to deal with abuse, neglect, bullying, self-hate etc. Yet, these are the strongest and most courageous young people I know. If anybody walked a mile in their shoes, they would not doubt for a minute their courage.
It takes courage to walk into rehab. To leave a relationship. It takes courage to admit you are wrong, or scared or unsure. To walk into a new school, gym or job. It takes courage to stand against a society that is so judgmental and harsh, that it causes people to commit suicide. For some people, it takes an insurmountable amount of courage just to wake up every day and keep breathing. I applaud every single one of you.
It is really okay if you do not agree with Caitlyn Jenner or applaud her or the issue she stands for …or any other issue for that matter, that is your right! But please understand that courage does not fit in a box. It is as diverse as the beautiful people that inhabit this earth.