Finding Courage

How a December of terrible news forced all of us to rethink everything—and ultimately return to some basic truths.

March 2013
Since then the mood has shifted, as moods tend to do. The flags are back at full staff, the kids seem less burdened, and I have rediscovered my usual balance of recognizing the beauty alongside the sorrows. I feel sturdy again in generating my own everyday courage, fighting my regular battles, and trying to have a big heart. Although I won’t likely be asked to tackle a gunman, I am called upon daily to smile and encourage and love.

In this way, by taking care of our own little worlds and by watching others rise to their challenges, I’m certain that we help each other along. I know the father who’s a police officer will give up more free days to check on the school. I know the county sheriffs have been trying to formulate a better safety plan. Security cameras and mental health professionals have been amped up, and lockdown drills and security protocols are all in place. I know that our principals, who steered their schools through the High Park Fire last summer, are becoming increasingly adept at navigating crises. The teachers, bless them, continue to wisely say the right things to young souls.

A part of this is sad, but it’s also inspiring, the way we wake up and face the day and try again. It’s only by shrugging off the burdens and searching for the light and the smiles that we’ll be able to display our everyday courage, our own special way of tackling the gunman.