Toast Note - 17 August 2017
So if you can remember way back to last week, the topic was courage. One of the replies I received was from someone in our NZ navy. It’s worth sharing IMHO because it’s a really strong endorsement for that idea of every day courage in a setting where you’d think (from the outside and without knowledge of the military), there would be a more classic definition of the word:
“Courage is one of the core values of the Navy (Courage, Commitment, Comradeship). We go to lengths to explain to our people that courage takes many forms and exists on many levels, not just the high end heroism type, but simple day to day stuff like standing up to your mates when their behaviour is not good enough or stepping in to something you see rather than walking past it. Courage is every day. Courage is an attitude. But I think it’s still the right word, whether it’s for the big acts of life defining courage, or the day to day ones. If you’re living it day to day, you’re more likely to be ready to face the few life defining ones when they do come along, which is particularly valid in our line of business.”
I guess what I love is how this echoes something Ruth and I preach every day regarding change resiliency. It’s something you practice and little practices to stretch your resiliency to change and adversity strengthen your capacity to handle the really rough moments.
After the events of the weekend in Charlottesville, I realise increasingly that my countrymen are going to have to find within themselves a daily courage to stand up and be the barrier between the people that hurt and the historically harmed. There is something to be said for linking arms and just acting as a physical wall between the two groups. And if that means you are in this case literally putting your life at risk, it will be the act that even old men and women can and must do. Maybe especially the old men and women. I know my girls would be on that line if we were in the United States right now and my failure of courage is that a secret tiny fearful part of me is glad they are here instead of there.
And related just because Obama used this Nelson Mandela quote in a Tweet Sunday and it resonates so strongly: