Thought for today:
"I have always had a deep liking and respect for the original natives of America; those brave indians of the plains who neither wasted nor wanted before their lands and ways were stolen from them by the new American settlers and pioneers. It was not coincidental that they were called braves, given their abundance of courage in their battles and fights with the American soldiers to remain close to nature and their homeland.
War is an unmitigated evil, but it brings bravery to the surface. My love of history and reading into the Second World War taught me many things about the numerous acts of courage and suffering that both soldier and civillian endured.
The angels of the night who went out to rescue the dying and injured amid the constant bombing of their towns and cities during the Blitz taught me that courage is simply the willingness to be afraid yet act anyway.People who lived through the war years had to exist with the uncertainty of 'not knowing' from one day to the next; not knowing whether they would live or die, or if they would ever see their soldier husbands and sons again. The bravery of such people taught me that anyone can die, but it requires far more courage to to live on and suffer.
Whenever people with life threatening complaints and terminal illnesses are forced to face their future in great pain, the greatest courage they are capable of displaying is to carry on. Sometimes, even to continue living takes a degree of bravery to face the uncertain nature of the future! Indeed, if my own terminal illness has taught me anything lasting, it is that courage requires not the absence of fear, but one's triumph over it. The brave person will always be afraid, but learns to conquer their fear of the future.They know they are not perfect and never have been, and are therefore prepared to die with a few scars.
My knowledge of the world's greatest explorers taught me that though their fear was often used to keep them from danger, it was their bravery and unstinting courage which supported their actions. The early climbers of the world's highest mountains, the antartic explorers whose clothing protection against the bitter cold and frost bites of the North Pole was no warmer than the winter clothes we wear today walking the highstreet, the Marco Polos of the world who travelled uncharted waters; all knew that their dreams could only come true if they persisted in the courage to persue it. Marco Polo knew that only the willingness to leave shore would provide one with the necessary courage to cross oceans of danger and great uncertainty. My history interests essentially taught me that venture and exploration invites courage to show itself at every dangerous opportunity.
One of the most threatening acts that the very young sometimes face is the act of being bullied, a practice far more common in our schools today than headteachers will often own up to. In the final analysis, the bullied needs courage to stand up to the bully, however many times they are knocked down, and the audience observing this spineless behaviour needs to be brave enough to speak out against such action so that someone will put a stop to it. Those who stand idly by because their head tells them not to get involved will never amount to anything more than heroes with the feet of clay. Just because they aren't the ones doing the hitting, doesn't make their inaction any less hurtful in such circumstances. Just because they choose not to speak out about it, merely shouts from the rooftops that they are complicit in it.
Finally, we live in a world of much uncertainty today where evil is done by man to man with less impunity than was ever previously witnessed throughout history. We live in a world where destitution, homelessness, statelessness, starvation, genocide and all manner of cruelty and barbarity are tolerated. Living far away from such human disaster should not prevent us feeling another's pain or speaking up on the behalf of those who have neither the will or voice to speak out for themselves. Never before has the need existed to speak out loud and clear about such wrongs and do all within our power to mitigate such suffering.
John Calvin,an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation once remarked, 'A dog barks when its master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet remained silent.'
Irrespective as to whether or not you believe in God, the quotation remains just as relevant if you exchange the words 'God's truth' for 'goodness and truth.' We live in times when not being prepared to speak out has become more dangerous and unsettling than saying it as it is, loud and clear." William Forde: July 19th, 2016.