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Essay: "Courage"

by John Wilson
It's courage that matters. Not the kind you hear about in prison, not the courage to fight, or even "keeping your head up." No, that's not courage.

It's courage when I can keep a quiet dignity about myself. It takes courage to observe the world around you. It takes courage to stand up for a matter of honor and principle. It takes courage to see even when everyone else around you is blind.

It takes a special kind of courage to be a prisoner with a long-term sentence. To see my family suffering and not be able to do anything about it. To let them see that I'm hurting all the more because I made the mistake that separated us. And to let them see that I've changed, that I'm no longer someone willing to throw away everything for nothing: all of this takes courage.

And it takes courage to pray. Not the loud "O God, forgive me this and this, help me with this and this." No, not even the quiet "God help me though this" that we would all hear is we could listen to the hearts of others. Instead, it takes courage to pray "I will make a difference today" or "I will change myself today." This kind of prayer is not to any extra cosmic deity, but to the Divine Spark within us all.

So let us lift up our courage in both hands and let us pray!