Week 15 – Courage


Hello readers!

This week we were introduced to a way to focus on virtues we would like to improve within ourselves.  The Master Key system has slightly modified an exercise that was done by Benjamin Franklin.  Franklin would focus on a different virtue each week and track when he didn’t live up to that virtue.  Simply said, he tracked his failures! For instance… If he was focusing on maintaining self control and he lost control he would track that incident. At the end of the day/week he could instantly see how many times he failed!!!  Well that’s uplifting… NOT!!

Throughout this course I’ve learned that what we think about increases.  Why would you ever want to increase your faults.  Where’s the improvement in that, where’s the growth?  The Master Key twist???  Yes, focus on the virtues you are striving to improve. But rather than tracking the failures, keep track of when you see that virtue displayed in others and in yourself. Feed and attend to each virtue as if it were your favorite plant and witness it growing and thriving.

This week I focus on courage. dictionary.com defines courage as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”  I spent the beginning of this week looking for it. No I’m not looking for the hero running into the burning building to save the toddler who is in turn saving the kitten. While that would be an amazingly courageously act,  I’m looking for and finding everyday quiet courage.   I’m looking for the courage that doesn’t get news coverage but might be talked about at the water cooler at break time.  

I’m seeing the courage it takes to drive in Chicagoland rush hour traffic everyday. I see the courage in the eyes of people that awaken each day knowing that they are and will continue to be in pain. I am witness to people risking it all in pursuit of what they want out of life.  I have friends that I consider courageous social justice warriors. I honor them here…Angel, Ashley, Charlotte, Foo, Katherine & Jean, Paul & Dorothy, Jeannie, Warren, Chuck and sooo many more) I see courage in the woman that finally acts upon her decision to leave the abusive partner.  It takes courage to look your partner in the eye and truthfully say “I love you”.  I’ve found that it even takes courage to look yourself in the eye and utter those same words. 

My Master Key guide Nancy O. recently told me that she thought I was courageous when at work I pick up the phone knowing that the person on the other end has a problem.  I felt as if I was just showing up.  She said that showing up takes courage.  In the past I’ve thought about the requirements of my job as a Desktop Support Analyst  I never realized that courage was one of them.  Courage is evident in those willing to trying new things or let go of what no longer fulfills them. I see courage when people come out of whatever closet they find themselves in and decide to live life as their true selves.  Courage is required just to be You. It doesn’t mean that you have no fear. It means acknowledging that fear and pushing through anyway.

I feel like I should go do something monumental.  With the right perspective, looking for courage is an empowering experience. Take a few brief moments from your busy day and look for courage in others. Then take another moment and look in the mirror.  You will find it there as well.


4 thoughts on “Week 15 – Courage

  1. Your thinking and observing about courage is expanding my understanding of courage. Thank you, Kim.

    I especially like the insight, “showing up requires courage”. And being you requires courage, too.

    Empowering, 🙂


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