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  • Sharon Krasny

Catching Courage

Recently courage has been on my mind. One of my slogans for Iceman Awakens is courage carries doubt on its back. All courage exists inside waiting. All courage must face the unknown of risk facing what's known of fear. What keeps us from reaching deep inside to find the courage to stand?

One of the characters of the Wizard of Oz is the cowardly lion, quite the oxymoron of symbols. Lions are one of the top predators of the wild. They know who they are. They know their role in life. They don't question what other antelopes or gazelle or monkeys are supposed to do. They know. That's part of what makes a lion or an eagle admirable - they are the top and they accept the responsibility to maintain that circle of life we are all apart of.

The reason I have a hard time embracing my inner courage or my inner lioness is not because I am not strong, but because I have a false sense of my role in life. We are taught to play nice, share, tell the truth, be kind unwind. That's what we are told and these are good qualities to help humanity coexist. But how well are we really coexisting?

Currently an atmosphere of anger is being pacified through waiting. Anger is a trait not encouraged in polite circles. Anger's passion is intimidating and not a sign of civilization or refinement, but deep inside when life feels out of control an anger simmers. The emotion itself is a powerful expression of being alive. To be angry indicates a caring, a vulnerability of pride and this shows we feel and are fired up. To be perpetually angry, however, like the state we find around us of late, begins to implode, to turn in upon that life spark, and drown out what we truly understand and believe through a distorted lens.

Courage is required these days in remembering what is really important to us, what we believe is true, what we value as essential as air to breathe. Just pacifying ourselves through a false sense of being kind doesn't heal the festering of not being at peace with who we are. If we are to heal as a nation or a people, we need to first define and understand who we are as individuals. We learn what we are capable of, both good and bad, when the pressure is on.

This past August when we went back to school, I had no idea what I was truly capable of. It was hard. It really hurt, but now I know. I can do so much more than I believed possible. I have a better understanding of myself and my role, or what I offer to those around me. I found my courage to stand in the face of chaos and turmoil. As a result, I can reach out a hand to others struggling around me.

If we are to grow from our current state of existence to a true understanding of coexistence, we need to first coexist within ourselves with a better understanding of who we are and what we believe. Only then, when we are at peace with ourselves, will we be able to accept others who are different around us. By standing as individuals, we actually unite as a stronger sense of one humanity.

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