The Muscle Called Courage – Wise Words Wednesday
Courage is the toughest measure of character to exercise. Bravery comes in many shapes and forms. Any chance we have to demonstrate courage is a chance to strengthen our resolve for doing what is right.
When I was a freshman in high school, I wanted to get along with everyone. I would work in a group with anybody. One day I was chosen to be in a group of guys who had absolutely zero interest in doing the Spanish lesson. To entertain themselves, they stole the eraser from a pencil on the desk behind us and started batting it back and forth. I didn’t say anything at first. I just kept trying to get them to vamanos back to the crossword puzzle. Eventually the eraser hit me in the face and I threw it across the room. That was a bad choice.
I hit Senora in the head!
My group could not contain their giggles. My heart was in my throat.
As she commanded the class to head back to their seats, I stood up and said, “Senora, I did it. I threw the eraser. They kept hitting me with it, so I threw it.”
Clearly, she was not expecting the confession to come from me and it was even more evident that my classmates had not anticipated it either.
My group members were asked to stay after class to discuss the eraser’s origins.
No one said a word to me.
After class my group members apologized and promised to not be jerks the next time we worked together. Senora thanked me for my honesty and asked me to not throw things in class any more.
I left class feeling like a tattle tale. I was pretty sure I would fail that assignment too.
After school a classmate stopped at my locker and said they couldn’t believe I took the blame for that eraser hitting her. I said, “I didn’t take blame. I did it.”
“You’re crazy! That took guts. At least you have a great arm,” was his response.
“What?!?” was my reaction.
After 20+ years that memory sticks out in my mind because on more than one occasion someone brought up that fateful eraser event and how brave it was to admit what I had done.
It didn’t seem too courageous at the time, but after having watched many students struggle through frustrating group and individual assignments, my own children own up to their mistakes, and trying to convince children and adults in my life that this it is okay to admit imperfections I know how that moment of bravery strengthened me.
Hopefully your courage isn’t summoned by a flying eraser. I pray you find courage in your everyday encounters and the words you use without having to stay after class.
May your bravery muscles flex with great resolve as you build relationships, teach lessons, and demonstrate grace.
Stay courageous and your intents will grow in their strength.
When your energy is unwavering, that power will move others with conviction and kindness. Be courageous. Be strong.
Please share your experiences of courage. We can only grow stronger when we recognize what it is to be brave.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I don’t remember if I passed that assignment.
P.P.S. My teacher does still remember being hit in the head with an eraser.