If we start sowing Courage into the other people instead of perpetuating the fear that is dominating our society, we can change things.
It only takes one. One person exercising Courage can inspire others to do the same. Conversely, fear grips our society because the fear of one person is passed on to another.
During a time when everyone is talking about contagious diseases, we need to realize that fear is probably more contagious than most diseases.
Some groups make a living out of spreading fear amongst us. Sometimes it is politicians, sometimes it is special interest groups and sometimes it is our friends who continuously push us to be fearful.
Be fearful if the other party gets in control.
Be fearful of people who are different from us.
Be fearful of the direction our world is heading.
They want us to believe that it is wise to be scared. When we buy into that line of thinking, it is a lot like purposely spending time with a COVID patient and then deliberately breathing on everyone else you see that day. We know that is not wise when we are dealing with a highly communicable disease. So, let’s avoid that with fear as well.
Some people have agendas. Some people just can’t control their anxiety about the world they live in. But, we do not have to fall into the same traps that fear set for them. We have a different choice we can make.
We can choose Courage. It only takes one person to inspire a group. In Vietnam, my father watched an entire battalion of South Vietnamese soldiers fix bayonets and charge into the face of a superior North Vietnamese force after their colonel stepped out of his trench alone and marched forward firing his pistol.
I recently finished reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He is another example of how one man’s Courage can start a movement. His Courage changed the lives of thousands of inner-city African Americans in the 1950s and 60s. Martin Luther King Jr. did not back down either. South Africa had Nelson Mandela. India had Mahatma Ghandi. Pakistan has Malala.
These are all examples of one person’s Courage spreading to a group, then a community and then to a society. What could we do to spread Courage and to not bow down to the fear that other people are spreading?
At Work: Speak out against the “us versus them” trap that often happens between departments or between the frontlines and the leadership.
With Friends: When people are fearful of the future, they spread that fear to others. Don’t join in. Don’t let their fears keep you from moving forward. Then, encourage them to focus on what they can control as opposed to the things out of their control.
At Home: Don’t use fear to motivate your kids. Instead of saying, “If you don’t get good grades, you will never get in a good college.” Say instead, “By getting better grades, you are going to have more options. You will have more colleges to choose from. Having more choices is better than having fewer choices.”
The Courage of one Leader of Character inspires others who then inspire more and more people. What would it be like if we had a workplace or a friend group or a society that did not let fear spread – but instead spread Courage? That is how movements are started and societies are changed.
If we start sowing Courage into other people instead of perpetuating the fear that is dominating our society, we can change things. We might not be the next Mandela or Malala. But, what if each person reading this blog today, made it their goal to inspire Courage in one other person each week for the next month? That would be a great way to start 2021!
Dig Deep Questions:
Where have you seen fear dominate your teams, friends or family?
What steps can you take to reverse that trend in those people?
Making a shift towards taking responsibility and living with Courage is a lifelong journey. We want to partner with you as you practice the habit of Courage daily, which is why we have created our Habits of Character Action Guides.
The Courage Action Guide offers you a month of daily, interactive training complete with a daily reading, dig deep questions, weekly processing guides and instructions on how to use the guide both individually and with your team. The Courage Action Guide is now available here.
We are behind you, championing for you, your teams and your organizations as you become the leader you wish you had. We want to come alongside you as you grow to confidently answer “yes” to the question, “Would you follow you?”