I have met several truly courageous people in my life, especially in the last several years. But courage has not come easy to them.
Then there are those select few who have been given a taste of “famous” in some circles. They are given a lot of credit for making a name for themselves through hard work and/or being at the right place at the right time. Some are even called “courageous” by others.
By their converts. Fans. Groupies. Others who fawn all over them and sing their praises.
These “stars” seductively
court blind their followers with teeth-whitening-stripped and botox-plumped smiles. Ready for the photo op. The interview. Being seen with the “right” people at the “right” time.
They take great care to run through life chameleon-like, avoiding those who know the first-hand ugliness of which they are capable. Unable to truly connect with others. To be real. Authentic. Genuinely human.
This is not courage, but cowardice. Always running from all that life truly is in all its glory.
I have seen what courage truly is. Firsthand.
I have seen how having courage to be truly vulnerable allows for connection with others. And how that making these connections builds a community. One such community is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure community.
A community brought together because of shared stories…of love…loss…sorrow…hope…and courage.
And it’s not easy. Nor is it always pretty.
This community has brought many together, but it has lost too many.
And this week, the 3-Day community lost Bridget Spence, after her courageous 9-year battle with breast cancer. Her wish was to see her 30th birthday, but she didn’t quite make it. Through it all, she was an active voice for the community, including advocacy and awareness.
Courage is what it takes for people to get truly involved.
For non-athletes to take on 60-miles of walking. For people who hate bothering others for donations to be willing to raise the few thousand dollars to be involved.
For those going through chemotherapy to stand up and say, “F**k Cancer!” and bravely face more than just 60 miles. For those who care for others who have been diagnosed to walk along side in genuine support…literally and figuratively.
Despite the sorrow and grief, this community is showing courage by making more connections to continue to make a difference…and we would like to extend this beyond the 3-Day community.
In Honor of Bridget…
The community is asking for donations to be made to 2013 Susan G. Komen 3-Day walkers in the amount of $29 to honor Bridget’s 29 years. Some have made one or more $29 donations to walkers they do not know. Others are making 29 smaller donations. Some are finding these random walkers with the same first names as a loved one. (The 2013 season runs from June to November–14 events across the nation.)
Whatever you choose, please put “IN HONOR OF BRIDGET” on the Honor Roll, which will show up on the walker’s donation page/wall so that Bridget will be remembered this year for the inspiration she has been to so many. (To find a walker and make a donation, go to the 3-Day website and then “Search for a Participant.”)
It requires authenticity. Willingness. Vulnerability. And no, it’s not always easy.
“Courage is when you’re afraid, but you keep on moving anyway. Courage is when you’re in pain, but you keep on living anyway…” (Lyrics from “Courage” recorded by guitarist/singer, Orianthi)