“We must constantly build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
–Martin Luther King Jr., “Antidotes for Fear”
By Christine Mason. Thinking of all we face in the world today, whether it be poverty, violence, prejudice, bullying, war, or disasters, there is much to be gained by focusing on courage. And particularly the impact of a courageous community.In schools, courage is often discussed in isolated contexts such as a reference to the courage of a particular hero. Many times courage is portrayed in stories as the courage of an individual.
We all know about the selfless courage of some of the most gifted and talented leaders. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Mandela, Gandhi. What was it that triggered the passion and conviction in these heroes? What stimulated them to speak up, to lead? Often they overcame some circumstance; many times their gratitude for their gains motivated them to give back, to help others.
What about the dikes of courage? In times of suffering not only individuals, but communities and nations display courage. The courage to move to a refugee camp, to fight injustice, to battle even as underdogs, to stand up for what is right – even when one is at risk.
How is your school, your community addressing courage? How are you leading a movement to increase the courage factor? Do you have a “dike of courage” at your school? What is the impact of your actions?