Courage. A word typically reserved for a person who noticeably goes out of her way to do something brave on behalf of others.
Compassion. A word generally attached to a person who selflessly helps others without even being seen or known.
To me, these two words go hand in hand. Like bread and butter, courage and compassion add something significant to one another.
The sweet spot of life is found in a combination of the two through private acts of kindness and public displays of bravery. Both are essential to making an impact on the world.
Now, before all the haters get up in my grill about my viewpoint on these two beautiful terms, let me be the first to say that each characteristic is important all by itself. But, like so many other things, when put together, they bring out the best parts of each other.
Let’s look at it this way: I can be the kindest person in the world to MY family in the comfort of MY own home. Behind closed doors. But when I go out and mingle with humanity, I keep to myself and never go out of my way to help someone else. To do that requires a different level of compassion. It requires some nerve. A willingness to be noticed if need be in order to lift someone else out of a pit that they may not be able to get out of on their own.
Our time here on earth is short as many of us know (including myself.) While good people die every single day, bad people keep on living. We can’t just sit by and watch it happen anymore. We need more good men and women to grow a pair, leave their comfortable existence of my family of four and no more, and love the heck out of people. (Yeah, I said it.) All people. Everywhere. Despite differences and opinions and cultures and baggage. This is where compassion and courage collide. An intersection of guts and glory if you will.
It’s so very necessary, don’t you think? The people who died too young would tell us to live each day with wild and crazy abandon sold out to a cause greater than ourselves. Can you imagine them saying that we should live a safe existence that only benefits us personally? Surely not. It’s in the giving away that we get so much given back to us.
How can you be daring in your efforts to help others on both the hidden back roads and in the bright lights of the city? It can be done. There are people waiting for you to overcome your fear of being seen so they can be seen. Being noticed for a courageous act doesn’t make you proud or egotistical. Humility is a trait easily noticed and hardly forgotten. When someone sees your hand outstretched towards another,they consider doing the same thing in their own magnificent way.
We can honor the ones who have gone before us by honoring the ones who are still here with us. Be kind to your families. Be gracious with your coworkers. Be fearless in your pursuit of the downcast, overlooked, and forgotten.
Then love them when noone is watching AND when everyone is looking. Let’s gloriously practice courage and compassion.