Courage comes in an astounding array of disguises. As human beings, our capacity for unspeakable bravery is un-paralleled in the natural world – we are the only animal to consistently dive into raging rivers and rush into burning buildings. The iconic images of human culture are images of this courage – of suffering and danger accepted to bring about a greater good. A single man stands down a line of tanks in Tiannamen Square.
These are the extraordinary guises of courage.
For daily use, let us turn our human skill of bravery to a more ordinary face. More ordinary – but no less courageous or difficult, no less frightening. No less appointed to a greater good.
Permit me the honor of introducing a most courageous woman, FeralMama. She has stood up in front of strangers, and done what may be – particularly for women – the most frightening thing one can do in ordinary annals of public life, and she has done it with such strength and hope and honesty that I am awed. And inspired.
She has told us her weight. And her measurements. And of her unhappiness with sweater patterns that cannot fit, and of her fear for the future, and of her need for the support of a community to help her stand up with courage and face down this challenge.
And I support her. I am stunned by the kind of strength it must take for her share this – it is a strength I am not sure I would have had. Am not sure I have. I am going to try though – because I share her fears, and I too long to be able to knit and wear certain things (Blaze anyone?) .
I do not have a video recorder – and am not sure I would have that much courage if I did – but I do have a tape measure (somewhere!). And tomorrow will see me weighed and measured — though not, I hope, found wanting.