I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.
- To Kill a Mockingbird
Of course pretty much anyone who knows me knows that To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book. This passage is one of my favorites in a book strewn with favorites.
It is easy to think heroes are only to be found in war and dire deadly situations. But being heroic often means stepping forward even when you are pretty sure that, in whatever situation you are in or facing, that the impossible truly is impossible.
You do it because it must be done.
Because it is the right thing to do.
Because even in your loss you have maybe made one other person see what you saw in taking action. This, to me, is called the courage of honor.
And there are different stages of this courage.
The courage to take the first step.
The courage to keep on keepin’ on (despite all the reasons piling up in front of you that would make it easy to stop keepin’ on).
The courage to finish. To see it through to the end. To stand up at the end and face what you recognized was inevitable even before you took the first step.
The courage to maintain the grace of being “licked” despite doing what you knew was the right thing to do.
The courage to not be bitter.
The courage to do it again.
If you find these people in your lives know that you have met a hero.
And, frankly, we all need more heroes.