Every moral victory that I’ve ever had in my life was achieved by facing my challenges and fears and working through those difficult times.  Haven’t we all experienced difficulties? We’ve all had to stand up to things that were uncomfortable and required courage. Aren’t we all doing that right now? While the world is shutting down, courageous people are standing up.   Standing up is the key. Courage involves standing. It could be standing up for a worthy cause; or standing up for what you believe in; or standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. It’s standing up to the bullies and challenges in life that occasionally block our way. Courage stands up when the chips are down.
When you think about it, our Four Way Test is an outline in courage, isn’t it?
We can stop after the first question. Is it the Truth? That statement alone inspires courage. It means doing the right thing.  Courage is doing the right thing instead of what’s easy. Courage stands up at the right time while fear and apathy are sitting down. Courage protects, while fear victimizes.  Courage means that we are willing to face the tough times and the setbacks until we reach a successful outcome. It’s having an idea and following it through.
Fear is afraid to try difficult things. Courage is willing to step up to them. Courage shows up in people of all ages during some of the most devastating times in life.
Courage and character are revealed during difficult times. They require the right attitude.
About ten years ago I had the privilege of presenting a check to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Our delegation met a 4 year old boy who was a patient at the hospital along with his mother and the doctor who was treating him. This 4 year old was suffering from a rare form of childhood cancer. He was going through chemotherapy and his mother was explaining all of the wonderful things that St Jude was doing for her son and their family. The doctor was telling us about the promising treatment that was helping to increase this little boy’s chance of survival. All this time the little boy was playing with a super-hero action figure. I have no doubt that he was also listening to the conversation.  As the conversation was winding down, the little boy held the super-hero figure up and in a different voice spoke as if the action hero was speaking. With the action figure in front of his face he said, “I know you’ll be okay, because YOU are undefeatable!” The room went silent as the courage in this little boy stood up. At that moment in time, he became that action hero.  Everyone in the room was moved to tears by this little boy’s courage.
       “One person with courage makes a majority” – Unknown
Yours in Rotary,
Tony Parziale