Less than a month

I can’t believe it! In less than a month, I will be on my semester abroad! I’m so excited, I feel like a balloon filled with helium!

I haven’t written in a while, and I figured now was as good as anything else. So I have a topic I’d like to put out there:

Courage.

What is courage, and where does it come from? Many of my friends from school and friends from home tell me what courage it must take to embark on such an unusual journey in my college years. I never know what to say in response–Honestly, what can I say? “Oh, yes, I frequently partake in activities or events that further strengthen my courage and bravery!!” Please.
And yet, what is said makes me feel stronger. I wonder whether that’s just my ego talking, or if I am being “brave”. So then, the question remains: What is courage, and where does it come from?

I am a Wizard of Oz fan. Ever since I was a child, I remember the cowardly Lion singing the “Courage” song before the group entered to see the Wizard. I never understood what he meant about the animals having the courage to make noise, be happy etc. but now I think I see it differently. If humans could be divided down to the simplest, most basic form, then (for the sake of argument) that would be the human essence. Secondly, if an individual recognized this essence as his most basic form, would it influence his ideas, his beliefs, his personality? Or would it be his ideas, beliefs, and personality? How many individuals follow themselves as humans? If in essence we were meant to be something far greater than what we allow ourselves to be, is it cowardice to be less? Perhaps it is this essence that is part of an individual’s definition. Perhaps it is courage to be real.

If it is courageous to be free to express oneself as much as it is courageous to move to an entirely different area to learn a language, then this courage must not be a thing one is born with; it must be a conscious decision; the decision to be brave. I think back to September 11th. I’ll never know if I would have had the bravery of the resistors of Flight 92. Did each participant say to himself, “I am a brave person, therefore I must act!” I’ll never know. All I know is that each of them did act, and in the process saved so many more lives. I, on the other hand, am not a “brave” or “courageous” person at all. However, I know that this trip is essential to my fluency in Spanish, and that I will learn a lot more than just the language. Is that courageous, to pursue knowledge? Or is it that others, when placing themselves in my position, would be inclined to shrink from this challenge? Maybe it is that our challenges present us with the choice to be brave, or otherwise.

Regardless, I feel strengthened to think myself “brave”. It rings in my ears and reminds me I’m not so destructible as I may believe. This is comforting. Perhaps this is where I will draw courage. I know God is always with me, and probably telling me I should give myself some credit…

Have a nice day!
I will write soon!

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