In my short time so far in my career, people have already told me a lot, “I don’t see how you do it. I could never do that job. It must take so much courage.” And they’re right, it takes a certain level of bravery to put on a uniform and make an oath to serve and protect, to put your life on the line. It also takes a certain level of crazy, too. But that’s for another post. But to me, bravery is so much more than just the obvious. You’d be amazed at the places you see courage if you take a moment to look.
Courage isn’t just the warrior charging the enemy, although that is great bravery and much needed. Sometimes, courage is found in far more unlikely places. Sometimes, it’s the domestic violence victim finally reaching out for help. It’s the child walking into a new foster home after being taken from the only home he’s ever known. It’s the rape victim facing her rapist in court. The worn-out single mom continuing on despite setback after setback. The wife choosing to love her husband after infidelity. The son giving his parent that walked out on him another chance. The friend who notices the signs and reaches out to their suicidal friend. Sometimes, courage for the police officer is just putting on the uniform and going to work after hearing about yet another brother or sister killed on duty and not losing faith in humanity. Sometimes, courage can even be forgiving yourself and moving on after a big mistake.
Courage isn’t some grand display of fearlessness. Courage is putting one foot in front of the other when all seems lost. Courage is being afraid and going anyway. Courage is being heartbroken and still loving. Doing the right thing when everyone hates you for it.
Courage is found in the day to day. In the ordinary when things get tough and we keep moving forward, despite the uncertainty of our future. Courage is doing what’s right when all seems wrong. Courage is hard. Courage is uncomfortable. Courage is within us, a choice, right here in the difficult, unlikely places we find ourselves in.