Courage is choosing to do what we know is right, even when it’s hard.
Changing a profile picture, posting a rant with swear words on Facebook, yelling at people you don’t like, mocking those who don’t agree with you, directing emotionally charged hatred towards politicians, putting down or denigrating other human beings because of their race or gender or religion, wearing hoods and masks as you club people, following the herd, blaming others, destroying public property, getting upset every time we feel like a victim and complaining day after day, that’s all easy stuff. Anyone can do those things. Easy. None of it requires work or effort or emotional labor.
Listening, showing empathy, displaying a willingness to understand other people’s points of view, having difficult conversations in a mature way, being accountable, taking responsibility for your own life and actions, putting yourself and your work out there, going into the community and helping people in a tangible way, mentoring youth, helping to teach people, working with others to arrive at common ground, bringing together and uniting people even when there are differences, doing things consistently every day that impact others in a positive way, raising your hand and speaking up in your own voice, putting others before yourself, serving others for their gain, not your own all require work. Hard work, such as thought, discipline, labor, emotional labor and effort.
I don’t care what path people take. The easy path, the hard path. To each their own. But we should know the difference. Because there is a difference, a major difference, between doing what’s hard or taking the easy way. We should ask ourselves each day as we do things, is this the easy choice, am I doing this because it’s easy and it’ll make me feel good? Or is this the right choice, even though it’s really hard? Am I doing this for my own gain, in the quickest, easiest way possible? Or am I doing this because it’s right and will help others, even though it might be harder, and even though not everyone will “like” me for it? We need to ask ourselves these questions every day, and we might be surprised what answers we find. Just asking those questions of ourselves, that’s courage.