Courage, Faith and Love
Author: James Wolbert
It has been said that this is the worst of times. We the people are experiencing debt, uncontrolled spending, mounting foreclosures, increasing unemployment and unsettling foreign crisies. While we can not directly impact all of these occurences, every single one of us can focus on who we are as a person and how we relate to others. What are the guideposts of our lives? How can strong convictions deliver us from despair and personal pain? Why do others weather storms better than others? The answer is threefold forming a blueprint of a live well lived. Let us examine each part seperately.
Courage. In the movie, “The Tale of Despereaux”, there existed a kingdom called Dor. The society taught young mice the important lesson of “being afraid”, and how to cower in the face of threats, such as the old enemy the cat. Then enter our lead character with big ears and an equally big sense of confidence who sought to defy conventional wisdom by being unafraid. Despereaux would draw pictures of cats, depicting them in a friendly fashion. He would overcome the traps set, by bouncing off each with superb agility, born of practice and determination, and pluck the cheese while escaping harm. Family and friends tried to convince him to bow before society’s rules. He would have none of that. In a moment of sheer exasperation, our hero would exclaim to his friends, “There is nothing to be afraid of. Try being brave.”
You see our little mouse has much to teach us. Too often we settle for the norms handed down generation to generation and dont question the rules. While many traditions are worthy and need preservation, there are moments when a person needs to shed what others think and strike out on his own. To fulfill a dream, to overcome adversity, to aid a friend or family member in peril, one needs to reach deep down in his soul to find the strength, the sheer resolve to do what must be done no matter what. It is not easy to do this but Despereaux knew that believing in one’s own cause so mightily, that nothing will stop you from your goal, will provide the strength to have the courage for success in anything you try to accomplish.
Faith. There is a song called, “The Climb”, by Miley Cyrus. She mentions her doubts of being able to succeed. The voice inside her head is telling her to give up in moving the mountain. The words are important in that her “… faith is shaking.” But the song ends with faith restored. Why does it happen? Because it is indeed about the “climb” – that force in you that refuses to be defeated. It is the connection to the Almighty. When there is nothing left, and I mean nothing, one’s faith in GOD will save you and provide the impetus to climb, struggle and win.
Love. This emotion is as old as time itself. There is a reason why men and women seach for it and when found it’s rewards are beyong any measurement. Pure love is the ability to care, support, comfort, and identify with your dear one. To believe in that person not for riches or fame but to understand their pain when tragedy strikes and more positively cheer them on in their victories however small to the casual observer. Loving someone gives you a foundation. Having no love, you exist like a boat without an anchor. Despite the world outside, that person is there for you. The danger exists that life’s grind will wear love down. It is necessary then to protect it daily with fertile soil, (gifts for no reason), and nourishing water, (putting the loved one’s needs first). In today’s world, it can be said that love is an endangered species, but once achieved, well, it is a gift from Heaven.
Let us now connect these three basic guideposts together. When one reaches absolute despair beyond anything ever experienced in his or her’s life, whether it is from a loss of a loved one, a financial calamity, or a lapse in judgment, the descent to hopelessness is quick. One has nothing left. All at once contact is made, if you let is happen, and the presence of God is known. The anchor is suddenly there again, as if it never left. Ego is put aside and Humility is out in front. Faith. Now with the power of this belief comes the strength of your convictions. The ability to dream big dreams, to dare all for your cause, erases the fear. Courage. But what is life without love. It is nothing at all. Love serves to increase both Faith and Courage by cementing the foundation of your life. It moves you beyond yourself in caring for your loved one or in praising Him. It fuels your decision to take a chance because even if failure occurs someone is there to accept and love you.
For some people, it is a matter of status in the community or how much money is in the bank or personal good looks which is absolutely key in life. In my view, it is Courage, Faith and Love. The choice is yours.
About the Author
I am a conservative man of 51 years born and raised in the sleepy town of Garfield, NJ. As my daughter says, ” Nothing happens in Garfield.” I have strong religious and political views. I have written some articles for newspapers and thought I would try here.