On Courage

I’ve never considered myself to be brave. In fact, I’ll tell you a story…

When I was 19, I went on a canoe trip with Rob. This was just a day trip. It was beautiful when we started out, but eventually we noticed storm clouds in the sky. We tried to hurry, but we had hours ahead of us, and finally the squall hit. We were unable to steer, and our food floated away in the river.

What did I do? Did I heroically paddle, with all of my strength to shore? Did I follow Rob’s command (as he was in back at that time) and assist in his maneuvering?

No.

Just like that Italian cruise ship captain, I bravely jumped out of that boat and made for shore.

And we were just on a river. A calm river. The AuSable. We were in a canoe. Sober. And wearing life jackets.

I like to think that I’ve since redeemed myself. I piloted Moonraker through a storm, and brought her into port while we were sinking.

Before that, I wasn’t brave. After that, I wasn’t either. It was the realization at that, that I was still Moonraker’s helmsman, and that I had done all that, that made me see that I could conquer anything.

Like kindness, courage is in all of us as well. We can go against the flow, and we can speak up for what we believe in.

And after we’ve gone through a storm or two, it will become second nature.

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