“If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right, you'll probably never do much of anything.”
We've all been stuck at the crossroad where familiar and new intersect. As someone who cannot navigate her way out of a shoebox with a GPS, the feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and excitement of what could be are all too familiar. Courage in its many forms have been highlighted in so many of the challenges I've recently faced, it seemed proper to highlight what I've learned. Too much time with educators does that to you.
Courage is knowing you're scared or unsure and doing it anyway. Perhaps the most profound consideration I have been challenged to adopt is the idea that doing it anyway means not doing it for yourself. Sometimes "doing it anyway" means finding the courage to accomplish something for your community and for those who would love to but cannot. Whether you find yourself brave enough to tell someone else's story to seek justice, or doing what it takes to wear an ugly Christmas sweater, you do it anyway. Because someone needs you to be courageous. A selfless act of courage is such a gift to both the giver and reciever.
I recently had a discussion with a friend at this very crossroad. Stay the same, or take the risk? Although my choice of words could have been better, what came spewing from my mouth was perhaps the best way to say it. "What?! Taking a risk is fantastic! It's like crack.. once you start taking risks, you just can't stop. It's such a thrill. I sometimes feel like an addict." Yeah, that didn't go over so well. I can think of 6 people who are probably now looking into rehab clinics for me. Apparently, I've overdosed. But, the point is sometimes staying the same just isn't an option. So if you have to take that risk, why not make it exciting?
Taking the path that requires the greatest amount of courage does not have to be traveled alone. Someone wise recently told me that reassuring one's faith is not about reading what is already there, or writing it on notecards where you can see it. Reassuring one's faith in anything is best done through speech. Whether you say it out loud or ask someone else to say it for you, listen more.
Needless to say, when you find yourself questioning which path to take, do the following:
1. Don't take the courageous road for you; do it for those who would love to join you but cannot.
2. Take risks, they're addicting.. like crack. Except there's not a support group or rehab clinic to help you when you overdose.
3. Take more time to listen. Hearing the truth might be just what you need to take that risky path.