Courage is being stupid enough not to realize the danger
Involved to yourself
Smart enough to know you don’t have a choice,
But to take immediate action,
It’s a reflex action in the face of danger.
It’s something you have to do
And there is not enough time to wait
For another to make that decision
Jackie Logan, Pen-sanity
What does it take to be courageous?
How do we move from wanting to run and hide to standing our ground and taking action?
Many times it all boils down to making a choice.
Let me share what I mean.
A few years ago I worked for a wonderful lady, Jean Taylor Jackson. She was a trust and estates lawyer who, at that time, was one of the few female practitioners in this field.
One morning I arrived at work only to find her in a pool of blood. Sometime during the previous evening or night, she had suffered an aneurysm. She was lying in the kitchen, next to the stove. A small pot had boiled dry on top of the stove, and the tiles of the floor gleamed brightly against her blood. The raw smell of blood, mixed with the heat, was strong and repulsive. What made things worse, I cannot stand the sight of blood, any blood.
I knew that within seconds I was going to get into a cold sweat, start heaving, and possibly vomit. Although this wasn’t something I wanted to be confronted with first thing in the morning, I also knew that I had to deal with the situation. I had to get medical help. I also had to somehow reassure her that I was not going to leave her alone.
I closed my eyes and started to take long, deep breaths. I also told myself to stay calm, to just deal with the immediate situation. It was very difficult trying to ignore the sight and smell of the blood. It quickly rose up to my nostrils. The warm room only compounded the situation.
Things got worse when the paramedics had trouble lifting her onto the gurney. To move her, the three of us had to lift the dead weight of the body. It was hard. She was heavy and the blood was now getting on my clothing and my hands. Despite how I felt at that moment, I had to remain composed and focus on the problem at hand.
It took courage to get the situation under control so that it no longer provoked an emotional reaction within me. It took even more courage when, a few days later, I was faced with the decision of whether to take this once beautiful, vibrant woman off life support.
You can choose to fear or choose not to fear. You can exercise restraint or react without thought. You can choose to focus on your limitations or choose to look at your strong points and work on improving them. You can dwell on the bad or excel with the good. It’s really up to you.
Now it’s your turn to share.
What is the most courageous think you have ever done? How did you feel when you first started out? Was their anxiousness, fearfulness, trepidation or were you filled with anticipation and eager to do this thing you had never done before?
This post is dedicated to Jackie Logan and Jean Taylor Jackson, two beautiful woman who departed this earth way too soon.