On Being Quiet and Being Brave

When we see action movies, we tend to believe that the hero archetype* exemplifies courage, among other traits.  The large, muscly, often male savior-figure saves the day from the horrible, nearly-relentless bad guy.  However, what these movies often neglect is that heroes aren't always battling bad guys, and don't always need a fast car or a train to jump from; heroes just need everyday, real courage in whatever they face.

this picture was taken a few years ago, at our family Christmas dinner

This month, I had the opportunity to spend time with my mom, living nine hours from me, to help her recover from a pretty major surgery.  Despite her understanding that any surgery has associated risks, mom faced both the surgery and her recovery with grace and courage.  She maintained a (very) positive attitude, expecting the best possible outcome for her condition and for the scheduled surgery.  Afterwards, she practiced patience, gracefully accepted our help (which can be a challenge in and of itself), and demonstrated her commitment to moving towards health and wellness.  I am extremely impressed by the dedication she has already illustrated through her willingness to try new things and give our unusual methods consideration.  For example, when I read in several whole food health books that cabbage can assist in healing the intestines and colon, mom was willing to try (and continue to drink) cabbage juice in order to heal her body.

Danny and I are happy to report that Mom is recovering nicely.  Though she's no Arnold Schwarzenegger, her courage has been an inspiration to me throughout my life.  It has helped me to understand that just like every other admirable trait in human beings, courage doesn't have to be loud, big, or in-your-face to be powerful.  Like the following quote suggests, it can be a willingness to keep moving forward and an interest in growth:

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
— Mary Anne Radmacher

Do you have people in your life who make you understand similar life lessons?  Have you told them?!  (If you haven't yet, check out this Let Someone Know They Inspire You post.)

* As a former highs chool English teacher, I feel it is important to provide a literary definition: Archetype = a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology; a very typical example of a certain person or thing.

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