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kneesox's avatar

What are some examples of ordinary, everyday courage?

Asked by kneesox (3535points) 2 months ago
13 responses
“Great Question” (10points)

The word “hero” gets tossed around all the time these days, for almost any risky act to help someone, or just for facing some sort of danger.

But plenty of people muster courage to do things that never get praised in the local news. Do we ever think about what it takes to do them?

Here’s an example: When I used to go to live performances (before covid), there would often be a group of elderly folks who looked like they came by busload from a retirement facility. Walkers, wheelchairs, portable oxygen concentrators, hearing aids, white canes and service dogs. Every one of those folks had to overcome something just to navigate lobbies and seats and restrooms. It must have been daunting for many. But they came.

I often wondered if I would ever be brave enough to do the same when I was old and impaired.

That kind of unsung courage is more inspiring to me than many of the stories that get inflated in the news. It’s closer to what and where I am.

Do you have other examples like that? What about in your own case?

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JLoon's avatar

Forgiving ignorance and meaness – In yourself and others.

It’s the only thing that makes starting each day possible.

janbb's avatar

Getting up in the morning and living through the day after a great trauma.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

I saw something on Face Book, I’ll have to see if I can find a link and post it. A guy pulled his car over on a rainy day, and got soaking wet helping two little boys fix a tire on their bicycle. Didn’t have to do that and did not know the children. But he did it anyway. In my book, THAT guy was a hero.

anniereborn's avatar

@kneesox I just have to say how much I agree with you.

flutherother's avatar

I hadn’t thought of it as courage until this minute but last week my neighbour began shouting at the police who had come to take away the elderly woman who lives across the road from us. The elderly lady suffers from dementia and following a routine visit by social workers the police were called and they handcuffed her behind her back and took her away in a police van.

I don’t fault the police, they were only doing their job, but it was an undignified end to forty years of life in a community she will not be returning to. It was maybe a small matter but I was glad someone spoke up for her right to be treated with more respect and I think it took some courage to do so.

kneesox's avatar

@flutherother OMG, they treated her like a criminal—how horrible. That is heartbreaking. What about her rights as a citizen, a homeowner, a human being? I never heard of that happening before. You care for dementia, you don’t punish it.

(Was this in the U.S.?)

And yes, that’s exactly what I mean by ordinary everyday courage. Not heroism, and not a performance, just courage. Standing up when it’s easier and safer to stay down. Thank you.

Thanks for all examples. I hope we see some more.

flutherother's avatar

@kneesox This happened in the UK and the lady was “sectioned” under the Mental Health Act which means she will be detained and treated involuntarily in a psychiatric hospital. It was the handcuffing in particular that my neighbours objected to.

kneesox's avatar

@flutherother exactly. That was cruel and must have been traumatic for her.

dabbler's avatar

Parents. Parenting.
I’m in awe of the amount of attention parents need to pay their kids.
Especially parents without a partner or extended family / community to help… that’s courage.

smudges's avatar

* It takes courage to be a good parent.
* It takes courage to get up in the morning when you’re depressed and just want to hide from people.
* I suspect that many, many people need courage to face every day – the disabled; cultures/races/religions who are affected by prejudice; the elderly; people who have been traumatized; toddlers left at day care the first time; children who are bullied at school, and the list goes on. It takes courage to face life, imo.

My great-nephew just turned three. He’s an avid Spiderman fan. His grandma (my sister) and I were watching an old Spiderman cartoon with him. He told us when the ‘bad man’ wasn’t being very nice. The villain kept catching Spiderman in a trap. At one point he said, “Turn it off. I don’t want to see the bad man.” It was too intense for him and he knew how to convey that. Some day he’ll find the courage to watch a show all the way through and it’ll help him develop character, strength, and more courage to face the future.

smudges's avatar

@flutherother Years ago on an occasion when I was suicidal, the county police (sheriffs) were called and they handcuffed me behind the back. They wouldn’t allow me to put on a bra or catch my cats to give to the humane society employee they had brought with them. When I tried to talk to them in the car, one was on the phone, talking to a friend about boating that weekend and the driver told me to wait until he was off the phone. In contrast, another time the city police were called. They allowed me to dress properly, didn’t handcuff me, and spoke to me like a person who was temporarily under their care, a fellow human being.

The police need so much more, and better, training to deal with the public. I think it’s also an absolute necessity to have mental health workers available 24/7 to help with mentally ill and mentally challenged people that the police face. Some cities have that, but not enough of them, and I’m not sure the police even utilize them as often as they should.

flutherother's avatar

@smudges I’m sorry you had that experience. The police should never treat those who are vulnerable with contempt and it is heartening to know there are people prepared to stand up to the police and tell them so. The UK police are by and large very good and they do take criticism on board but standards can always slip.

longgone's avatar

Children facing disdainful teachers and/or bullying from peers. Everyone living with depression or anxiety. People who leave an unhealthy relationship, and those who stay with their partner through major difficulties.

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