My first inclination when I saw today’s one-word prompt, “courage,” was to go political and to write about the absence of courage that the Republicans in Congress have exhibited when it comes to their constitutional role to serve as a check and balance against an unhinged, autocrat-wannabe who occupies the White House.
But then, since I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics on TV, I thought I’d write about the incredible courage of those athletes who attempt what to me appears to be almost superhuman feats of athleticism as they go for the gold.
And then I thought about the courage of first responders who go charging in — whether for natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, fires, or hurricanes, or into man-made tragedies, like mass shootings and terrorist bombings — when everyone else is fleeing the scene.
There’s also the courage of whistleblowers who are willing to risk their careers — and possibly even their lives — in order to release to the public details of underhanded or illegal activities on the part of employers or even governments.
And what of the courage of women who have told their stories about sexual harassment and abuse by the rich, famous, and powerful?
But what is needed most today is the courage of everyday Americans to go out and vote at each and every election, from local and statewide elections to national elections. The courage to pay attention to the issues that matter to them and to actively support and vote for candidates who reflect their personal values.
That is the kind of courage that is critical in order to save and preserve our democracy.