Thinking Out Loud

Courage and Encouragement...

It takes courage to live in a world where we are bombarded with multi-weaved visuals and sounds ranging from good to bad on an unprecedented scale as never before. This is true if you live in a relatively quiet New Hampshire village or a large Western American city such as Phoenix. The blare is incessant, unless we gather up our strength and bravely fend off what we don't want or need to see or hear.

We are heroes for living in an evolutionary cultural era of sweeping change. What we present to others is intangibly reflected back to us.

Certainly we are not the first humans to do this. We should recognize we are living in a time period that is not merely a change of century but the turning of a page in history. For this most certainly is a monumental juncture of future present and we are living in global change, not unprecedented, but definitely not the relatively placid post-Industrial period of the past century. Strange how we don't really recognize a significant time period when we're living in it.

Our heroism for drawing breath in this unsettled time is rewarded by the reassurance we pass onto others, which in turn is handed back to us.

We sense the change in the atmosphere like hair rising on our arms from static electricity before a lightning storm. We're aware lightning is going to strike but its target is unknown to us. We live in an instant of time that will be recounted in history in ways we may not recognize due to the distractions of the moment. Safeguarding ourselves from fear of the unknown requires courage. The spirit and guts we need for courage can be obtained by encouraging others, that is then redirected back to us. It is the intangible law of return on investment in others.


  1. I can't remember any time that helping someone who needed help didn't feel good. I don't mean paying taxes so that they could be turned into government subsidies. That might make me a little poorer and give some people another dollar to buy shoes or a lottery ticket, but that never feels good. But just doing something decent, whether it's helping someone learn something or helping them get a car out of a ditch on a dirt road or whatever else, always feels good. I've always enjoyed it, which might be the return on investment...but there's more to it than that.

    The road to hell might be paved with good intentions but I think it's actions that matter. I'm sure I'm missing the irony of my mentioning this; you'd think anyone who thought as long as I have about pretty much everything would at least be smart enough not to mention occasions when an old adage hits up against the skull. But I do. And that's cool.

    I'm beginning to think there are two kinds of heroes: the ones people know about and the ones people don't know about. I don't mean that in a "fame" sense. I just think the real heroes are people we rarely think of as being such...but I know they are people. As you say, you never really know where you are in history. Wherever it is, though, there will be some heroic people involved.

    And to think I was just going to say "this post is perfect"...it is, JR. Thanks for posting it.

  2. I think most real heroes are unknown. I mean that in the sense you do but also in the sense of being that person who stops and helps a lost old lady in a parking lot find her car and then leave without a word other than accepting a grateful "thank you so much."

    Someone did that for my mother recently and I wish I knew who they were. My "Ma" is 83, a good (but slow) driver during the day but drives a nondescript white car of which there are millions on the road. This guy helped her find hers among the many in the large parking lot that "has the saguaro on the antenna so I can find it."

    He helped her find her white car with the saguaro cactus on the antenna in what I know is a large parking lot in our hometown. She made me feel good because after she told me the story she said "and I know you would do the same thing." Yup.