Tag Archives: courage

Come celebrate

…come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.                  —Lucille Clifton Some weeks it’s easier than others to write a post appropriate for a blog titled Defeat Despair. This has been one of the more difficult weeks. I had Clifton’s brief …

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The best people

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” — Ernest Hemingway Hemingway saw more than his share of wounds and destruction. As a young ambulance driver he was …

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Heroes who live among us

“There are two kinds of heroes. Heroes who shine in the face of great adversity, who perform an amazing feat in a difficult situation. And heroes who live among us, who do their work unceremoniously, unnoticed by many of us, but who make a difference in the lives of others.” —Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Yesterday was …

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All serious daring

“A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.” — Eudora Welty By most standards, I have lived a very sheltered life. I don’t regret it. I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences, traveled widely and read extensively, but I also have had the luxury of being …

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Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

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To look forward

“I didn’t have particular baseball heroes in those days…I didn’t relate to baseball players, even though I played the game myself, because I knew I had nothing to look forward to. There was no hope for me to play in the big leagues back then because I was black.” — Hank Aaron Wow. Talk about defeating …

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Close at hand

“Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.” ― Yann Martel Last summer I bought a small hibiscus plant at a clearance price, and brought it home to our deck. It thrived and bloomed profusely, until I …

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A willingness to wander

“The thing about healing, as opposed to curing, is that it is relational. It takes time. It is inefficient, like a meandering river. Rarely does healing follow a straight or well-lit path. Rarely does it conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner. Walking with someone through grief…requires patience, presence, and a willingness …

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We conquer

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” — Edmund Hillary Hillary makes an excellent point. The mountain can’t be conquered by any person. But its magnificent, inevitable presence can be a venue for the building of skill, courage and resilience. It’s not surprising that mountains have become a favorite metaphor for the challenges of daily living. …

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The wise will know

If we call for the proof and we question the answers Only the doubt will grow Are we blind to the truth or a sign to believe in? Only the wise will know And word by word they handed down the light that shines today And those who came at first to scoff, remained behind …

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Sufficient proof

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to …

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Only one thing to do

“We are so outnumbered there’s only one thing to do. We must attack.” — Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham Admiral Cunningham spoke these words before the Battle of Taranto, in which a small number of obsolete planes (the Fairey Swordfish biplanes) conquered a mighty fleet of ships and ushered in the ascendancy of naval aviation.  I loved this quote the first time …

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A newer world

…Come, my friends,  ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. —  Alfred, Lord Tennyson Our new year is nearly two months gone, and many who made resolutions may have already abandoned them or altered them to fit reality.  Still, it is never too late to keep reaching upward to higher aspirations for ourselves, our …

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Their life and their limits

“Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.” —  Michel de Montaigne Experience seems to be teaching me the same things it taught Montaigne, though I may not be learning it as gracefully.  There’s an old saying: “If you don’t …

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In spite of all

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.  And so today I still have a dream.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968 Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and …

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Substantive heroism

“Resilience, inventiveness, and survivorship– qualities often ascribed to great physicians– are reflected qualities, emanating first from those who struggle with illness and only then mirrored by those who treat them. If the history of medicine is told through the stories of doctors, it is because their contributions stand in place of the more substantive heroism …

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Ingenuity and resourcefulness

“Risk brings out the ingenuity and resourcefulness which ensure success.” — Robert Rawls “There are men climbing around in the top of your tree!” Darla reported with excitement when I answered the front door that morning.  She knew the tree surgeons were coming to remove our giant oak that day, but the sight of them …

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Vitally appealing

“The emotional energy created by the critical illness of a child is unlike anything else in a family. The medical situation devours much of the family’s life and leaves its mark on everyone involved: parents and siblings, grandparents and friends. Passions are generated, enormous resources are called upon, any moment can suddenly turn into a …

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The right mental attitude

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — author unknown, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson Just the other day, Jeff sent me this quote because he knew I would like it; I knew, too, that he …

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To you today

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.  I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s words continue to inspire us because his message was timeless.  In the face of centuries of oppression …

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Join in our chime

And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast, And been bow’d to the earth by its fury; To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury – Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime, The regrets of remembrance to cozen, And having obtained a New …

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And yet be determined

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald For most of …

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Know who you are

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou Nobody likes to lose.  Loss hurts, sometimes irrevocably.  But there are …

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Courage undaunted

“Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order and discipline, intimate with the Indian character, customs, and principles; habituated to the hunting life, guarded by exact observation …

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When we came together

“Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed …

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