Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Word on Courage

Once upon a not-so-long-ago time, there were heroes who knew what the word 'courage' meant. I'm fairly certain there are still heroes and they still know what it means to be courageous. I'm also more than certain that said heroes do not concern themselves with being heroes at all. They do what they do because it's who they are.

Fame is not their quest.

Today's heroes are no different than the ones who came before them. They are men and women and, yes, even animals, who go about their usual business each day, not thinking about being heroic. They don't concern themselves with what may come. They don't cringe at the thought of being a hero or having to save somebody or whether or not they have the cajones to do what needs doing when the time comes.

Which is what makes them heroes in the first place.

They're people (and critters. Don't roll your eyes at me. I know you've heard about those dogs/horses/etc. that have saved the lives of humans. So, yes. They get included here too.) who are going about their business when suddenly a circumstance arises and they must take action. That car that broke loose and is rolling down a hill. That little one who has no clue that the street is full of speeding monsters whilst he runs to fetch his ball. The woman who snatches him up right before that speeding monster runs his little ass over. That's just one story.

There are millions of them.

Hero stories are abundant. Yet, they only get thirty seconds at the end of every evening's news. And then they're gone. The only "news" that goes on and on and on (ad nauseum) is the stuff that makes us more fearful. The hero stories only last thirty seconds.

Which leads me to the purpose of this day's missive:

Why is it that we only talk endlessly about the stuff that makes us fearful/dreadful/sad/terrorized and not the stories that fill us with hope?

Why is it that we talk about which celebrity just got busted/ousted/divorced/re-habbed and not the ones that donated a gazillion dollars to help bring water to a village or build schools or get medical aid for the poor?

Why is it that the most popular TV shows are "reality" shows (which are so NOT) where stupid little girls name Honey BooBoo are overnight sensations because she had a clever agent, and shows that might actually inspire us (i.e. Leverage. Don't get me started...) get cancelled?

I'll tell you why.

{Well of course I will. What do you think I'm doing here?}

Because the majority of our world (let me define that more clearly: the majority of the United States of Boneheads) would rather hear/see/watch stupid shit about stupid people than get off their lazy asses and make a difference.

{Ooooo-EEEE! Do you feel a rant coming or WHUT?!}

Okay. Let's take a breath.

The name of this blog is "JoyZAChoice". I write these meanderings because (and only because) I want so very much to inspire you to quit yer whinin' and choose the things that bring you JOY. There are no ads on this blog. There's a reason for that. The only thing you'll find here that you have to pay for is my book. {What? You didn't know? Well, here it is: "Whispers". Go have a look when you're done here, okay?} Otherwise, I'm here because I can't help myself. It's my calling. It's something I have to do. I don't begrudge that fact. I love it. So, in case you think I've forgotten where I am, please know that I have not. The ranting comes for a very good reason.

And here it is:

I have lived by my mantra (Joy is a Choice) for a very long time. Along the way, I have uncovered a myriad treasure of words/thoughts/beliefs that have not only sustained me, but have lit a fire under my sometimes-lazy-ass so that I could fulfill this passion for fueling others as well as meself. (not a typo). One of the things that always comes back 'round is this quote, by my very favorite author (Tom Robbins). It seems that no matter how funky stuff gets, this is what comes to mind (yes. I have it memorized. I'm going to use it one day when I audition for some awesome play that has yet to present itself. You'll see!). It goes like this:

" you risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you ever risked disapproval? Have you ever risked a belief? There is nothing particularly courageous in risking one's life. So you lose it. You go to your hero's heaven and everything is milk and honey til the end of time, right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That is not courage. Real courage is risking something you have to keep on living with. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts. And suffer change. And stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's cliches."

To that end, I challenge you to put your big girl panties on (big boy shorts too!) and get on with the business of being your own hero. If you want to save somebody, save your SELF first. Slay the dragons that keep you from your authentic Self and live the life you came here to live. Live the joy you were meant to live. Be the you that wants so much to make its mark on the world.

That, my friend, is real courage.

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