“I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us…if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do.”
Christopher Reeve said these words, and his quote captures the essence of what our motivational book Walk the Talk is all about.
It reminds us that having values is important, but living them is much more important…that words without deeds are nothing!
QUESTION: What does “courage” have to do with being a person of good character…with someone who stays true to their principles and their values?
You see, being values-driven means two things:
Doing what’s right – following our conscience; refusing to compromise our principles, despite pressures and temptations to the contrary, and
Taking a stand against what’s wrong – speaking out, whenever we see others do things that are incorrect or inappropriate.
Unquestionably, both of those require guts and fortitude…they require courage.
Following your conscience instead of “following the crowd”.
Refusing to take part in hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
Speaking your mind even though others don’t agree.
Taking complete responsibility for your actions…and your mistakes.
Following the rules – and insisting that others do the same.
Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
Doing what you know is right- regardless of the risks and potential consequences.
I’d like to share the “Cadet Prayer” that is repeated during chapel services at the U.S. Military Academy:
“Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole truth can be won. Endow us with the courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.”
That is truly the essence of courage.