Posted by Tony Parziale on Sep 25, 2019

Dear Fellow Rotarians & friends,

Moral victories are usually achieved by staying focused and working through difficulties and challenges.   Haven’t we all experienced this? We’ve all had to stand up to things that were uncomfortable and required courage. Standing up to a challenge is the key.

Courage involves stepping up and standing up. It could be standing up to speak; or standing up for a worthy cause; or standing up for what you believe in. It’s also standing up to the bullies in life who occasionally try to block the way. Courage is standing up and doing what’s right.
 
When you think about it, our Four Way Test is an outline in courage, isn’t it?  We can start and stop at the first question on the Four Way Test. Is it the Truth? That statement alone inspires courage. It means doing the right thing. It’s not gray and fuzzy. It’s black or white.
 
Courage is doing the right thing instead of what’s easy. Courage stands up at the right time while fear and apathy are sitting down. Courage protects, while fear victimizes. Courage is having an idea and following it through. It’s facing the tough times and the setbacks until you reach your goal.
Fear is afraid to try because we may fail. Courage doesn’t mind hard things. Courage shows up in people of all ages during some of the most devastating times in life.
 
One person with courage makes a majority” – Unknown
 
About ten years ago I had the privilege of presenting a check to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Our delegation met a four-year old boy who was a patient at the hospital along with his mother and the doctor who was treating him. This  four-year old was suffering from a rare form of childhood cancer. He was going through chemotherapy and his mother was explaining all of the wonderful things that St Jude was doing for her son and their family. The doctor who was treating this young man was also there. He was telling us about the promising treatment that was helping to increase this little boy’s chance of survival. All this time the little boy was playing with an action figure and listening to the conversation.
 
As the conversation was winding down, the little boy held the action figure in front of him and in a different voice spoke as if the action hero was speaking and said, “It’ll be okay, because YOU are undefeatable!”  The room went silent as the courage in this little boy stood up. At that moment in time, he became that action hero. Everyone in the room was uplifted and moved to tears by this little boy’s courage.
 
Yours in Rotary,
Tony Parziale
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