With the recent remembrances of Veteran’s Day, the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War I and Thanksgiving all within a 2-week period, I found myself reflecting on what it means to have courage or to be brave.
It is hard to fathom the courage and bravery of our veterans, past and present. What they saw and experienced, for the sake of our freedom, is beyond my comprehension. My dad was a fighter pilot in WWII and my husband and brothers-in-law were all Viet Nam vets. I am forever grateful for their bravery and courage.
The First Thanksgiving
And if we think about Thanksgiving – beyond the football games, the turkey, the stuffing and casseroles and family gatherings, there is a far greater meaning to the First Thanksgiving than being thankful for a bountiful harvest. Despite what many think, according to one account, the pilgrims did not migrate across the ocean because they sought religious freedom. They had moved from England to Holland in 1608 for religious freedom. But in 1620 they fled to America because they found it hard to raise their children in Holland and even harder to find work.
How Courageous Are We?
So here we are in 2018. And while many of us haven’t served in the military or have been asked to have the courage to defend our freedom, I’m wondering how much courage we would have when it comes to defending our beliefs and values. How brave would we be when it comes to standing up for all that we believe is safe for our children and that which makes our communities livable and prosperous? Would we have the courage to take action like the pilgrims coming to America in 1620 so we could safely raise our children and make a decent wage?
I think that courage can propel people to act despite their fear; To make a conscious choice to move forward. When a person or group of people are brave or courageous, I think there’s a level of faith and trust that the choice is for their greatest good or for the good of the whole. There’s a bigger vision that is worth risking everything because what is being left behind in unbearable.
How different are the people from Honduras and Guatemala who are seeking refuge in America from the pilgrims who migrated in 1620? They too, fear for their safety, their children’s futures and are seeking a decent living. And while in 2018, there is a need to review our immigration policies and practices for legal entry to the United States, the need and pain of these refugees is the same as our ancestors.
So, as we celebrate our veterans, our freedom and our bountiful lives, I’m wondering if perhaps this year, we can find it in our hearts to remember our roots, our vision for America and our ideals of who we want to be as a nation. Our national anthem says we are “the land of the free and home of the brave.”
So how do we have the courage to live our values and create a process so people like our ancestors can have similar opportunities?
This might be a worthy conversation at the dinner table this Thanksgiving.
Marty Stanley, CSP, is a Certified Speaking Professional, who encourages people to take ownership, accountability and responsibility for creating the world they want to live in by aligning their thoughts, words and actions. She believes that people who blame and make excuses are victims, living in fear, and do not have the courage to make a difference in our world that is for the good of the whole. If you want a speaker or consultant who will encourage people to take ownership, to live fully and boldly, to make a difference in the world, call Marty today: 816-695-5453 or 858-432-6764 www.alteringoutcomes.com firstname.lastname@example.org