"Standing up for what you believe, regardless of the consequences," is how the fellow baseball fan described courage.
During a lull in the game, and I asked a guy a couple of seats down the row, how he would define courage. It took a few minutes to get warmed up and he delivered the home run definition.
His description hit close to home for two reasons; 1) this explanation captured a common version of what tests our courage in our hyper-sensitive world, and 2) I am more aware of my failings to make a stand than my successes.
The cost of violating the ambiguous line of political correctness is high. The risk is an extreme backlash against saying anything that carries a hint of offensiveness to anyone within earshot. The Internet and social media have redefined the range of earshot from a few feet, to worldwide.
A benefit of our brave new world includes holding the extremist accountable, but the cost is measured in the untold number of silenced voices that may otherwise speak. A healthy society requires standing for our beliefs, regardless of the cultural popularity.
Demonstrated courage is through stepping forward and adding our voice to the discussion.
Sadly, I have chosen silence more often than courage. There are friends, co-workers, and causes that have suffered because I resisted the call of courage and gave in to the perceived risks. I am aware of this temptation and expending effort to develop the muscle of courage.
What does it look like for you? When have you stepped up and weathered the storms that come with being courageous?
What aspects of courage most resonate with you? How does this aspect influence society? When did you demonstrate courage in this area and when did you stumble, why?