The Small, Quiet Gesture of Courage

A few years back, I made a small commitment to myself.

I would ask a question during every Q & A I was at.

Town meeting, author reading, talk-back with the director, lecture on Churchill or class on archery, when they said, “Any questions?” my hand would have to go up.

There were three reasons this commitment mattered to me.

It meant that I had to get to the event on time. When I got there, I had to listen. And most importantly, I had to do this small, low-stakes thing that scared me.

And anytime we do something that scares us, we give courage that much more of an edge over fear.

I get a lot from this commitment. A good seat because I arrive early and new knowledge because I keep my phone in my pocket so I can really listen.

I’ve also gotten a little braver. Because each time I stick my hand up in the air, I’m showing myself, “You can do this.” Ask a question in front of a bunch of strangers, yes. But really, look at fear and choose courage instead.

What I’ve come to believe is that courage is not just the huge feat of derring do. Sometimes courage is the small, quiet gesture that does nothing more than push gently back on fear. And remind us, “I have bravery in me, too.”

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