If you plan on hiding under your desk during an active shooter incident, you may want to just grab your blankie and suck your thumb instead of reading this blog today. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any whining from the readers about it not being their job to confront people with guns, that’s for the police. We can all see how well that worked out in Florida on Valentines day.
The portly fellow at the top of this blog (and the one in all the other pictures as well) had a history of courage in his actions. Am I Winston Churchill? Nope. But he and I share an outlook on life that you need to at least think about for a few minutes. I promise, this will be one of the deepest blogs I’ve written during my time as an author.
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You don’t have to be a hero to have courage. Courage is accepting a potential cost to you, and still doing the right thing when offered an opportunity. Whether it’s stopping the bully in your grade school from picking on the kid with the lisp, grabbing a shovel and facing down a dog that’s killing your neighbor’s kid, running to fight a fire until the fire department arrives, confronting an active shooter, or simply getting out of your car and giving the homeless guy without shoes the pair on your own feet.
How do you know if you will have courage when the time comes? Somewhere inside of all of us is the kernel of bravery. It is your choice if you nurture it or abandon it when the time comes to decide. Some of this is developed in your childhood. Some of it is a realization in your soul that pervades your mind when you become an adult.
What it means is that you close that hatch and submerge the submarine, open that patrol car door and head toward the sound of gunfire, or get off the bus and stop the beating that the homeless man is taking while others look on.
I have been criticized for my commentary on bravery with regard to the Florida shootings on Valentines Day. I know a lot of very brave law enforcement officers. I know that the vast majority of them will take on that shooter every time, even if it costs them their own life, because it is what they are paid to do. I also know that a vast majority of them are stunned, saddened and shocked that their brothers in Broward County did not take on the shooter, and that as a result of that apparent cowardice seventeen people died without help that they could have rendered.
I run to the sound of guns. Most of my friends do as well. I have friends I can count on when the bullets fly, and I know they will be right beside me as we crash into the danger zone to help others.
I’m proud to say that is how I choose to live my life. I’ve proven my mettle often enough to know it’s for real.
Take some time, right now, to evaluate your own courage. Sometimes it just takes a little watering to get that kernel to grow. If you find it within you, I’ll gladly take your hand in friendship and face the demons together.
Back to Winston for a moment. He’s the reason they don’t speak German in London today. He had the courage to face ridicule, bombs, and a life in chains if the Germans won. He had the moral courage to call Hitler what he was: evil. I’ve got him tattooed on my upper arm so that I never forget that even old men with polka-dot bow ties can be the salvation of the world in times of crisis.
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