Courage is not dependent on previous acts of courage. If I am terrified of heights, but climb a tree to help someone down than I have shown courage. It does not take away, diminish, or in anyway reflect the courage it takes to be a Police Officer, Military Soldier/Infantry, Fire Fighter, Search and Rescue, or any other profession which seems more heroic on the surface. Courage not simply something regulated to combat. In fact speaking for peace requires a lot of courage as bodily harm and death are tools often employed against such advocates.
Courage is not allowing Fear to govern your life. Across the world courage has been shown in social issues. Being from the united States we have plenty of examples of Social Courage. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. showed courage. Jane Addams showed courage. Ghandi showed courage. This does not mean George Washington showed less courage crossing the Delaware. This does not mean First Responders to terrorist events like 7/7 and 9/11 were any less courageous.
It makes me wonder how insecure people are they have to lash out at those being courageous for a fight they don’t understand. Caitlyn Jenner has faced ridicule, threats of all kinds, and continues to be insulted by uneducated bigots. But she knew that. She knew that embracing her own image and doing so while tied to one of the most public families would bring a wave of criticism, attacks, and condemnation. Knowing that, knowing a large chuck of the world was not educated and enlightened enough to accept people for who they are and would lash out, she made a courageous choice. She chose not to be ruled by fear or hate or self-denial. She chose to face real consequences and repercussions for simply being true to her self. That is the very definition of courage. “The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”
And you want to know something? That does NOT take away from any one who has been, is currently, and will be Brave. The continued comparisons and ridicule people face for social courage only serve to prove how much courage is necessary to stand up. In some parts of the world doing so is in fact a death sentence. That does include parts of the United States. Standing against social ignorance and bigotry is not easy, it is not safe, and it is not a minor issue. So the next time you see a picture of some soldier bleeding and a snide comment about courage – remember they are merely proving the point. It is not easy. You are brave. And one day the world will pull its head from its @$$ and recognize that. It is a long fight. Ask anyone involved in equal rights. You’d think the world would it get already – it is all glass wall non-sense. We all bleed. We all feel. We are alive and just trying to do the best we can. But it seems a hard lesson for the world to learn. So continue to be You. Continue to be Courageous.