365 Challenge: Day 76 – Courageous

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Courageous: not deterred by danger or pain; brave

When I first thought about the word courageous, images of people who protect others from danger flooded my mind. I imagined all our armed forces (navy, military, air, et al) around the world, doctors and nurses who travel the globe to treat the sick, cops and firemen who keep us safe from our own disasters and criminals, civil rights activists trying to achieve equality and fairness for everyone… all the people who knowingly take a job or volunteer position in which they have a strong chance of dying or being hurt as a result of such a choice. I was not surprised with the results when I searched for an official definition and picture for today’s 365 Challenge post. Those are courageous people.

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Although it is only a mere daily blog, and has little impact on anyone other than a few of us, I’d like to take a moment to remind all of us to be thankful for these individuals. Without them, our lives would be very different: less safe, more sickly and full of risk. The world grows more dangerous each day, but with the careful dedication of these groups, we have a fighting change to live full and healthy lives. So… Thank you… to anyone who falls into the category I’ve described above. I appreciate all that you do for me, and I simply wanted to take a moment to say it without it being prompted to by some event that caused me to think about it, e.g. newscast or article, natural disaster, seeing a member of this community.

By this definition, I am not what I would consider a courageous person. I have not embarked on a profession or become a volunteer in any area where I protect and serve the people of our country and this world. I have not been on the front-line watching my friends being shot at. I have not taken any risks studying a disease I could catch, in the hopes I can find a cure. I have not fought for a cause to protect all the freedoms for people who have been denied the basic rights every human should unquestionably hold. And I have not put on a uniform to keep our streets and homes safe and clean from things that could harm them.

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But underneath this prominent definition of the word “courageous” lives a more subtle meaning, one we apply to situations when someone takes a risk or goes above and beyond the expectation, knowing it will potentially have a negative outcome. We call these people courageous and brave for doing something different, for pushing the envelope, for standing out in a situation.

I applaud these people, too. Not nearly as much as those who serve and protect us, as noted at the beginning, but those who find a way to be courageous in their every day lives. When I look at myself, I have been brave in a few areas of my life. I’ve been courageous under such a definition or explanation. I quickly searched for a few commons components of this type of courage… more than the Wizard of Oz’s cowardly lion but less than Mother Theresa. A link is below to the full article, but the 6 key items I found were:

  1. Feeling Fear Yet Choosing To Act
  2. Following Your Heart
  3. Persevering in the Face of Adversity
  4. Standing Up For What is Right
  5. Expanding Your Horizons; Letting Go of the Familiar
  6. Facing Suffering with Dignity or Faith

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201208/the-six-attributes-courage

As I’ve done on past posts, a quick exploration on these six items:

  1. I’ve felt fear and still acted. I once thought someone had broken into my home, so I grabbed a weapon and carefully checked the house. I was prepared to confront rather than escape and call the police (probably the wiser thing to do in that situation).
  2. I left a very strong, profitable and dependable career to take a chance on writing, which has always been my passion.
  3. I’ve faced little adversity in my life and wouldn’t dare try to show that I have. I have been privileged. I know it and am grateful. I need to do more here for others.
  4. I have stood up for a few things in my life, but not always. I should do better here, too.
  5. I have expanded my thoughts and taken chances. I am probably right about where I should be for this one.
  6. I’ve never been placed in a situation with major suffering. I have been privileged. And I am grateful. But if I were, I am more apt to have a dignified reaction in person. I may post and complain a little in writing, but that’s just creative expression. In reality, I would be much more admirable.

Courage is not easy. Some days, it feels like something we can easily attain. Others, it’s as far away as Oz. But it’s important to know that we should never forget about it.

Are you courageous? Do you have a story about someone with courage? Let’s share…

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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12 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 76 – Courageous

    cwhiteweb said:
    May 27, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Leaving a stable job to follow a passion takes courage too.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    Nel said:
    May 27, 2017 at 9:14 AM

    I like that you recognize and are not afraid to admit that you are privileged. That is serious courage in our world today where people try to be what they’re not or say they can relate when they know they never can. Kudos, James 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 27, 2017 at 10:36 AM

      Thank you. I appreciate it. Sometimes… I almost want to stop myself from posts that go in that direction… just because I feel like it’s wrong to even bring up privilege when you have been so. But when I step back, I realize I’m not trying to highlight what I have… but what I respect in others… even tho it’s a 365 challenge about me, it’s really trying to open it up for everyone.

      As for privilege, I don’t come from money and haven’t had everything handed to me easily… certainly worked very hard on a number of things. BUT… I have way been way more lucky/safe/healthy/cared for/supported/financially sound than a lot of people. I absolutely need to recognize I’d have nothing had I not been given such wonderful parents and backing to do and become whatever I want. I haven’t had to face any hate crimes, racism or negativity. I’ve had a few slurs thrown in my direction over my relationship preferences, but who hasn’t had faced a few issues to some small degree.

      I am absolutely privileged and I believe it’s important to recognize what you have in order to have a good base to start from. But it’s also something to try to help others with too… I sometimes feel guilty with the posts, complaining about some of the problems I face… when others face so much more. But this is a blog and I’m just thinking aloud. But I would definitely want to be called out anytime I go too far!

      Liked by 1 person

        Nel said:
        May 27, 2017 at 10:43 AM

        You didn’t go far at all. Your posts are so refreshing which is why I look forward to reading them everyday. 😁 I don’t come from money either and I’ve just gotten to a point in my life where I’m financially stable but even when I wasn’t there was always something positive about just living even in the face of negativity, which I’ve gotten my fair share. It’s all about recognizing who we are and acknowledging the good, the bad and the ugly and becoming better for it! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        May 27, 2017 at 10:49 AM

        SO much better said than I wrote. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

    Kristin said:
    May 27, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    I guess it depends. I am courageous but also a coward. The time a man jerked open my car door and tried to get in my car? I thought quickly and threw the car in reverse, knocking him back. I got to safety and alerted cops.

    Then? I’m the same girl that watched Jaws one summer and was scared to swim even in a swimming pool for the rest of the summer 😂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 27, 2017 at 11:01 AM

      Awesome response on the first one. Ugh, some people… I probably would’ve tried something like that to. As for the second response… thank you for the laugh. I could sorta see that happening… in the ocean. But a pool? Oh! Gonna hold that one over ya for a while…. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

        Kristin said:
        May 27, 2017 at 11:02 AM

        Oh trust me, I was ribbed about It forever! Especially when I went on to get my scuba cert!

        Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    June 1, 2017 at 3:45 AM

    I am a big coward except when it comes to standing up for something or someone I believe in.

    Liked by 1 person

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