The Month of Courage

We are just finishing the second month of the Year of 12 Virtues experiment. This has been the month of courage, and the volunteers chose their own goals to help them practice this virtue. They have some great stories to share- these are some of my favorites:

I planned an intimidating lesson for my high schoolers and had the courage to present it. I dressed up as a Puritan judge (wig, robe, and hat), and I forced them to reenact a witch trial. It was intimidating to stand up in from of 115 seventeen year olds and willingly make a fool out of myself–and I felt a little sick about it the day before–but it ended up going great. The students loved it, and they really lost their own inhibitions because I was willing to lose mine. I’m sure some of them thought it was stupid, but I’d say the majority were much more engaged than they would have been if we had simply READ about the trial. And they will probably never forget it!

A small goal, for sure, but a worthwhile one just the same…it’s so easy as a teacher to get “stale” and stop having fun with your students. To be honest, I felt too tired to plan and execute such a lesson, but I am glad I did!
~Rachel

That is awesome Rachel! Your students are lucky to have such a great teacher.

Here was a comment from Tiffany who made a goal to share her beliefs with 20 other people:

#1. I took my sister to church for the first time in about 7 years. This took a lot of courage on my part, because it’s been so long. During the meeting, I stood up and bore my testimony to her. This in turn inspired a number of old friends of hers to do the same thing. She sang the hymns with me and then I was blown away when she offered to stay for the full 3 hours. We stayed, and it turned out to be one of the most spiritual meetings I have been to in a long time. She even told me after that she would like to go again. It was such a great experience.

#2. My dad is in jail. I haven’t seen him or spoke to him since I was fifteen years old. I wrote him a letter explaining what I believe, and I sent him a copy of the “Book of Mormon” and a book entitled “Our Search for Happiness.” I am also sending him some pictures of his grand-daughter Maddie, who he has never met. This scares me to death because its been so long, and I have hardly shared anything with him. Now, to share this will be interesting to say the least. I hope it brings him happiness.

Good for you Tiffany, often in life the hardest things we do are the most important.

Susan, who is the President of a not-for-profit had this to say-

I have spent this past month trying to get sponsors for the preparedness expo our community is putting on at a local mall. Boy it is hard to get out of the house and go ask people to do things. This is the kind of thing I like to put off. It was easier if I just scheduled a day and didn’t come back until I had made the rounds. What I learned from this experience was that I needed to keep my courage up. I just couldn’t give in to the feelings of failure. I kept saying to myself “failure is not an option” and “just do it.” It often took two times speaking with each business or organization before they took me seriously. You should know that I am not in sales and do not make a living doing this kind of thing, but it gave me a lot of confidence to figure out how to make it work. Thanks for the challenge. It helped that I had to get back to you with some kind of success.

The common theme running through all of these experiences is that when people strive to have courage, they are able to accomplish things that are incredibly meaningful to them. Hopefully their stories have inspired you to make a goal of your own for the Month of Courage.  This Thursday we will talk about the virtue for the next month, kindness.

Comments

One Response to “The Month of Courage”

  1. shantel says:

    I recently went to a conference where one of the key speakers explained courage and fear in a way that made so much sense to me and I thought I would share. He spoke on EQ, or Emotional Quotient, the ability to maintain focusin the midst of emotional upheaval. People break under pressure, quit and turn over based on emotion. Everyone has 3 circles in life. First is the comfort circle. Second is the UNcomfort circle. Third is fear. You can change the size of your comfort circle and eventually elimintate the other two by merely sticking our toes out of the circle, getting comfortable there, and then doing it again… and again… gradually enlarging the circle and eliminating our fears. Relate this to teaching a child to ride a bike. We begin by allowing them to sit on it while we hold on. Then, once they are comfortable doing that, we take it a step for further and allow them to peddle, etc until they are ready to do it on their own and we can let go. They can then ride their bike like a pro. They are comfortable with it and it is no longer a fear.

    If we can practice this in our own lives, step out of our comfort zone just a little, we increase the size of that circle and pretty soon, we will fear nothing! We will be unstoppable!! Our comfort zone is the worst place for us to be! That is where we are stagnant! No growth, no development, no stretching! Our whole lives we are taught to avoid failure! So, now we have developed a fear of failing yet, in failing, we learn so much more! We need to let go of our fear of failure and step out of our comfort zones. Expand and learn and grow!

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