He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

Muhammad Ali

I thought about courage as I ran today. What is courage? What does it take to have courage? When do we exhibit courage?

I see courage in the face of the parts of children with autism and other special gifts. I will never know the challenges these parents and children face fist hand but as I look at them, I see courage. Courage to face whatever comes their way. Courage to care for a child that is in need 24/7/365. Courage to give 100% of themselves all the time. They are heroes to me.

I see courage when I look into the faces of the girls I teach, coach and mother. The life of a girl is so much harder than when I was growing up. There are so many more pressures. There are so many more expectations. There are so many more challenges for girls today. We are a society obsessed with appearances. Girls are forced into a ‘box’. If girls do not look, act and dress like the others, they are teased, make fun of and bullied….not only by other girls, but by boys and adults as well. There are so many ways for children to get bullied now. They can not have a ‘safe zone’ to escape and quiet the nasty voices. I see courage in these girls when they stand up for themselves and stand up for others in order to quiet these nasty voices. It is no easy task to stand up for yourself. It is no easy task to stand up for another person, but these girls stand up! They have learned empathy and feel this for the bully. It is up to all of us to help girls learn to love themselves for who they are RIGHT NOW….something I did not learn until I was older. If I had learned that lesson at a younger age, perhaps I would have been more courageous in my life. Instead, I tried to fit in the ‘box’ and never had the courage to step out and like myself.

Courage….what does it look like to you?

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