The word ‘courage’ brings visions of someone rushing into a burning building to rescue someone stuck inside. Or people acting heroically during a disaster of some sort. But we all have courage every day. It takes courage to go about our daily lives and do everything that needs to be done. It takes courage to stand up to injustice whenever we see it, even if it is just correcting someone’s misconceptions. It takes courage to keep going when times are tough and to have faith that things will be better. And it takes courage to swim upstream when everyone else is going with the flow.

Courage isn’t something we think of on a daily basis. But we should. Do you know someone who keeps going in the face of overwhelming odds? Someone who takes on the daily care of a family member who is ill or infirm? A person who takes in her grandchildren whose parents are incapacitated in some way? The family down the block who quietly help their neighbors without fanfare? These are all courageous people.

Sometimes it takes courage to say ‘no’ to someone to whom you have always said ‘yes’. We all have those people in our lives; the ones who won’t take no for an answer; the ones who abuse us physically, mentally, verbally; those who take advantage of our good nature. Saying ‘no’ is not bad. Only you can know whether you are acquiescing to keep the peace when you really want to run in the other direction. If your mental health depends on your saying ‘no’ then gather up the courage you need and say ‘no’.

Celebrate your courage today and those people you know who are quietly courageous every day.

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