“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” — Maya Angelou
Recently, Laura Locke, editor of a free online eMagazine called Kolbe Times: Faith, Arts & Justice, emailed me requesting permission to feature a poem of mine in their April issue, themed “Courage.” I’m honored and of course, I said yes.
I think you too would appreciate the work this small non-profit ministry, run entirely by volunteers, has been doing since 2010.
Deeply rooted in community, the magazine curates and brings stories of hope and good counsel to readers, exploring topics of spirituality, social justice, and the arts with contributors from all over.
This month’s issue examines the many facets and faces of courage, and how the difficulties of this past year can be interpreted as a call to focus on “the common good.” We can do amazing things when we come together, and as a society I think we needed to remember that.
But even the act of coming together calls for courage.
Courage as a Virtue and a Path Through Adversity
Individually and collectively, we’ve been asked to think more deeply about our behavior and our prejudices. It takes courage to show up for those discussions and to do so with an open mind. It takes courage to choose vulnerability over comfort.
It takes courage to forgive ourselves and each other.
Courage is the virtue that drives us to follow through with our good intentions and to embody all the other virtues we identify with: virtues like patience and compassion.
Courage is many things.
Which is why Laura asked to showcase the “Courage” poem this month, during such trying times in the world.
For yourself or someone else, you can purchase the poetry art print and encouragement card version of this piece. (Thank you for supporting the work I do and this community I'm grateful you're part of.)
Courage Through Community
This sentence from the magazine really hit home for me:
"Courage is often sparked by compassion for those around us."
How very true that witnessing our shared humanity can bring us back to our roots of resiliency, survival, and recovery.
Deep down we understand our interconnectedness.
We know that life and loss and all the in-between places are easier to navigate, together.
Watching someone else find their way through can give us the strength to take the next step. Just the same, we should remember that how we live our own lives will be a lighthouse for someone else.
Even having been distanced for so long, we can come together "in the spirit of community" by remembering our deepest points of connection.
- Start a practice of generosity.
- Offer our kindness.
- Make art and give it away.
- Expand our circle of love and care with meditation.
We can turn our self-care into a form of community-care.
We can reach out and touch the world in a small way.
Together, we can practice courage in small ways.
This is how we make it through. This is how we rebuild. This is how we grow.
What has courage meant to you this year? What does it mean to you now going forward?
Tell me in the comments.
What you share here helps more than you know.