I get asked from time to time if I am ever worried about all the travel I do or if I feel vulnerable to the events of the world. I am reminded of a friend of my older son’s father who had spent time in the Viet Nam war. I met him when I was only 19 years old and really had no idea of that war, it ended when I was 11, so I only knew what I heard at our dinner table and saw on TV as a child.
But here was a man who had actually fought in that war, so I wanted to know, “Was he ever afraid?” And he said, “All the damn time.” I asked him, “So you must have had so much courage to get up every day and know you could die, why were you so strong?”
He looked at me and told me something that I carry to this day when I am faced with a difficult or even dangerous situation.
“Courage is not, not being afraid. Courage is being afraid and doing it anyway.”
Brian believed that he had a job to do, just like a policeman, fireman, or paramedic, anyone who puts themselves in harm’s way for others. He believed and had faith in his training, in serving a greater good.
Later, he looked back and saw the injustice of that war, but in the moment, he believed he was fighting for democracy and the other men in his platoon depended on him to show up and do his job.
“Today there may be something that challenges me, even frightens me, but I will make sure that I am where I am supposed to be and be courageous enough to show up.”