Sunday, February 6, 2011

Red Hot ....COURAGE

There are so many definitions of the word Courage. Over the years, the use of that word has been stretched, misconstrued and abused.  I heard an announcer this morning on ESPN, refer to a player as being "absolutely courageous in his last three games".  It is not courageous to be a winning quarterback who takes a beating all day from the opposing team. He chose that job and he gets paid for it. Grandly.

Courageous acts are those which go above and beyond. Acts that happen with no thought process. And decisions that are made, some with great thought process.

Courage is:

When a young man chooses to defend his friend. The class cut up, the boy with some emotional deficiencies. The boy so few children tolerate. Because he is in trouble once again. This time, for something he is wrongly accused of, there is a bigger story that must be told...and the young man, his friend/protector, takes a stand. When no one else will.  And defends him to the headmaster. It is hard at 13 years of age, to step up and be a man. But he does. Because it is the right thing to do. He steps forward and stops the wrong.

When a straight A student, appears different from all the rest. For two years of his high school career, he dresses in complete Goth attire. He is picked on, called names, bullied and taunted. But he is still the boy he wants to be. You cannot change him. You cannot make him be someone he is not. Because he marches to the beat of his own drum. And he survives those people. He is the last one standing. At the podium. Delivering the speech of a lifetime.

When a man has been given his diagnosis. He has prostate cancer. But it is the "slow growing, slow killing" kind of cancer. He may live another 10 years of quality life. His choice, is to remove the cancer. Knowing, the intimate life he now shares with his wife will change. He chooses to believe her when she says, it will not matter. She will love him always. He takes the step to live longer than the possible 10 years of quality life. He chooses to believe her. And live.

When a woman has been told, the cancer must be removed. She makes her decision immediately. She knows, that she cannot wait. She has two daughters who need her. She has a life to finish living. When she is told three days later, worst news than the first time. She again, does not hesitate. And knows, this will be worse. But she moves forward. She chooses to live. For her girls. And for herself.

When a man has drank all of his life. As a teenager and as an adult. And now his job and family are on the line. He takes the hand that reaches out to him. He begins treatment. He follows the rules. He listens to the lessons. And he learns them. He knows and accepts he will never be cured. But he can stop. To save himself. To save his life. 22 years sober. He chose to stop.

When her son is killed in Iraq. And she wants nothing more than to sink, into the deep dark hole that is calling her name. When she wants to be, with her son in heaven. Because these are thoughts, she cannot help but think. But she knows, she cannot. She has another son. Who will need her. Her job here on earth is not done.  Barely six months later, when she thinks, she cannot withstand anymore heartache and pain. She is diagnosed with breast cancer. She has decisions to make. Body altering decisions. But she must, make them. She still has work here on earth. She must be here for her son. And herself. It is not time. I know, she will choose, to live. Again.

A little boy has fallen into a bonfire. She does not think. Instinct takes over. She rushes in to save him. She pulls him out and pats him down with her bare hands. She has second and third degree burns.  She has been back and forth to the burn center. She will be fine. Her hands are healing. The boy, is still in critical condition. If not for her, he would be dead. If not for her courage and her heart.

I cannot imagine the courage it took to live the lives I have described above. I hope, if and when my day comes, and I am faced with the choice, of right or wrong, live or die. I hope I make the right one. The right choice. I hope I have the courage to make the right choice. For courage is the very being of one's heart and soul. One's inner strength as it takes control. It is not a direct derivative of a paycheck or a spotlight. It is the most real, a human being will ever be. It is the most naked of emotions. It is living with fear, but still moving forward, requesting nothing in return. Redemption at it's finest, silent moment.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims


  1. YOU TOO.....know a thing or two about courage...
    DON'T sell yourself short girlfriend...and thank you♥

  2. PERFECT explanation of the meaning of courage ... just PERFECT!!!

  3. What a beautiful story..and yes, Perfect explanation!

  4. this is beautiful, and i think you know a little about being courageous yourself. you're a pretty amazing woman.

  5. I can't believe I am blessed enough to have you tell my story and my feelings and thoughts this way. When I have been without a voice, you have been my voice.