Friday, February 29, 2008

Reflecting on Courage

This past week has been the Chapel Week for my Residence of boys at school. Needless to say, it was a busy one (thus my lack of blogging), and our theme was courage. I was asked to deliver a short lesson on the topic, as one of the house faculty members. Like last time I spoke in chapel, I decided that it would be good to post my lesson here on the blog, in case anyone was interested in a little divine inspiration.

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I'm reminded of a quote by Mark Twain, “Courage is not absence of fear”. Brave, courageous people all have their fears, everyone from soldiers, to sports icons, to people in this room, we are all afraid of something.

Even the bravest person, I can imagine, Superman, has things to be afraid of. We all have our kryptonite, ranging from heights, to spiders, to public speaking. In preparing for this, I asked a number of people what they are afraid of. They gave me a wide range of answers, and a number of guys in Colley told me that they were afraid of clowns and sock puppets, I don’t know what that means…, but there was one answer given that stood out above all of the others, and it also happens to be one of my biggest fears, loneliness.

After giving this a bit of reflection, I realized something; Franklin Delano Roosevelt lied to us many years ago. The only thing to fear is not fear itself, no it is something much scarier and much more tangible than that, the only thing to fear is being alone. With the love and support of your family and friends, you can look off that cliff, shoo away that spider, or even face that scary clown.

I myself have been inspired recently to take a courageous step. Next year, I will be leaving the comforts of Colley House, the City of Oakville, and even the entire Western Hemisphere, as I have accepted a teaching position in China. The thought of uprooting my life, and career, quite frankly, scares me to death. I am worried that I won’t fit in, that things will be too different, or worst of all, I am worried that once I get there, I will be alone.

But when I stop to think about it, I know that I am not at all alone, and I never will be. The world today is a much smaller place than it ever has been. Thanks to the wonders of technology, even though I will be on the complete other side of the planet, the people I love will only be a dial and a call, or a click and a wall post away. And that makes the challenges of moving so much easier to bear; I know that I can face my fears and trepidations.

To be able to truly face your fears, it is not just courage that you need, but company. If you take a second to look around the room, you’ll find all of the courage that you need. Whenever you are faced with any adversity, no matter how bad, you will always have each other.

I know that wherever life leads me, I will have the family that I have gained this year with me, maybe in person, maybe on my computer screen, or maybe just in spirit. I, like all of you here today, will never have to walk alone, and that gives me all of the courage that I need.

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For our anthem, we chose "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry and the Pacemakers, demonstrated here.



Now the main reason they chose it though, was because it is the anthem of both the Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool FC, here is an amazing version with both clubs singing it. Maybe it's the Scot in me, but I am a bigger fan of the Celtic version.




Until next time,

G

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