I keep a sword behind my bed—two, actually. A pair of sheathed Roman-style gladiuses (or is it gladii?). Not much of an edge on either, but both have relatively heavy blades and nasty points. So while I may not shoot you, if you break into my house and try to hurt someone who lives there, you will either be killed and partially consumed by a Chihuahua and a dachshund, or stabbed in the head by an angry, middle-aged bald man.
Or that’s my plan.
The issue I run into is that I am not certain I could do it. I hope I never have to find out. That’s the thing about courage. I guess you never really know if you have it until you’re tested. I think these days, home invasion is the most likely situation in which that test would ever occur.
As I said a minute ago, I hope it never does.
When I think of courage, I think of people doing what has to be done in spite of potential danger to themselves—up to and including killing to protect those in their care.
I don’t think about senior-aged men deciding they were meant to be something other than what they already are, and then going on national television and suddenly becoming heroic for talking about their issues. Identity. Whatever.
Courage, of course, does not always have to be meant in a martial or violent sense, either. I think about people like Randy Pausch, maintaining his composure, and hope, and delivering his last lecture in the face of certain and eventual death.
I don’t mean hope of death passing him by, either. Randy had something he wanted to achieve before he passed, and he did, in spite of his illness.
I think of my brother-in-law, John, climbing this…electrical tower thingy and bringing a potentially suicidal guy back down to earth.
Or how about those Coptic Christians being marched down that beach earlier in the year, moments from literally dying for their faith?
Most definitely courage, and I can only hope to be as brave should something similar ever happen here.
Talking about how God gave you the wrong plumbing?
Not so much.
I guess in a sense, every boy wants to be courageous when the time comes. We all want to be heroes. What am I after with all this? I’m not sure. I guess I just hope that if and when it is necessary, I come through and do what needs to be done.
Until that day, I will just do my best to raise my boys to know that I am there for them, and will protect them and their mother to the best of all the abilities God has given me.
I never served, and never had the honor of protecting my country–I wish I had, now.
What I can do is support my country however I am able, and support those who do protect it with the best of all the abilities God has given me.
And I will hold all life as sacred, because God said to (and because I read Coleridge–the Ancient Mariner had some real problems) and because all life is sacred. All lives matter.
I think if I can do those two things, even when society tells me I don’t need to, or don’t have the right, then we will be OK.
Does that make me courageous? I don’t know.