Welcome gratitude

Welcome the call to be courageous

Courage, where does it come from? Is it like the potion that Asterix and his village friends drank before fighting the Romans? Something that is bestowed on only a chosen few? What about the nurse who takes the hand of the dying patient, or the security guard who risks his life for someone he does not know?

I remember that all-enveloping sense of disillusionment. Gasping for air to keep on going and keep on breathing despite the heavy cloak of despair, loss and grief that filled every news bulletin and social media post. Loss of lives. Loss of dreams. Loss of hopes.

Our country and loved ones struggling with the effects of a third wave of the Covid 19 pandemic and the effects of the unforeseen looting and violence in KZN and Gauteng. The words in my dictionary vanished and the notes of encouraging songs I knew were silent. Despair weighed heavy, anxious to find a place to land, and make sense of the incomprehensible. Tears fell silently.

Courage. How does it look like?

Not only as a country, but each individual involved, crossed an important barrier during this time Barriers that were mostly only an illusion, kept neatly in place by fear. We really had no other choice than to answer the call from within that we are better than this, that this is not the way. In the wake of the devastation, a wave of unity rose, fuelled by courage, and we reached out to each other and made a difference, giving of ourselves for the greater good of others. Stories of ordinary people taking initiative to be part of clean up teams, neighbourhood securities, food collection and distribution actions and fundraising efforts to raise funds for individuals and businesses brought to their knees showed who we as a nation are called to be.

Courage, where does it come from?

Is it like the potion that Asterix and his village friends drank before fighting the Romans? Something that is bestowed on only a chosen few? What about the nurse who takes the hand of the dying patient, or the security guard who risks his life for someone he does not know? Or the person that is willing to enter the space of immense grief and simply be there with the one grieving? Or the one making a career change to follow their passion, or the one standing their ground in a difficult conversation. How do they answer the call to be courageous?

I have to admit, I have run away from moments where my courage failed me. Where I wish I were in line for Asterix’s magic potion. Some I am embarrassed to share, as they seem insignificant compared to the calls for courage that others are facing. And if I think back on those moments, I realise that maybe I did not really understand my “Why” to be courageous, or even more importantly, I did not know myself well enough to trust that, I have what it takes to answer the call, even if it is in a whisper.

I think once I know the answer to the “Why” for me in the moment, I can step up and show up, trusting that I have what it takes. Or perhaps I don’t know if I have what it takes, but the not showing up in the moment bears a greater risk.

As I continue to create tea moments to connect with myself and others and think about the call to be courageous in my life, I try to take time to understand the passionate cry of the “Why” inside my being. I begin to listen to the “Who am I” voice, and somehow, there is change. Somehow, I find hope. Hope in my courage.

As you enjoy your tea moment today, where are you called to be courageous? What would be helpful for you to respond to that call?