- Those who believe that Jenner did indeed show courage by announcing to the world her intention to transition from Bruce to Caitlyn.
- Those who think that saying Jenner has “courage” is an insult to people like the military, law enforcement, firefighters etc. who put their lives on the line every day.
Is courage a zero sum game?
I don't think so.
I think courage is:
- Choosing to stay in a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan
- Choosing to re-enlist after three tours of duty
- Climbing on board a fire right and driving right toward the fire that has engulfed neighborhoods
- Landing an F/A-18 on the deck of an aircraft carrier pitching up and down in the ocean
- Making a traffic stop at 2am not knowing what you’ll find when you approach the vehicle
I think courage is also shown when:
- A daughter has a difficult conversation with her father about their history together.
- A teenager reveals that he doesn’t want to go to the school that his parents want him to.
- You say “no” to something you don’t want to do, knowing that the repercussions will be fierce.
- You say “yes” to something you want to do, knowing the repercussions will be fierce.
- You offer your opinion knowing it may not be received well.
- You keep your mouth closed this time.
- Asking for a pay raise.
- Announcing a desire to go to church in a family that has no spiritual beliefs.
- Drawing a healthy boundary and sticking to it.
- Admitting we need help.
- Someone who seemingly has lost hope, wakes up, gets out of bed, and tries again.
- Someone tells the world, “This is who I am.”
- You choose to be vulnerable.
While I do understand why people would have a negative reaction to Jenner receiving the award, I think the national argument we have about this diminishes from the bigger picture. (And before I go on I do wish that other people received the same type of coverage that Jenner is receiving now ... I do! After all I don't think courage is exclusive!)
But since I can't do anything about what ESPN or ABC chooses to do or not do, I figure the best thing for me to do is to focus on what I can do.
I can stand up, show up, speak up and be willing to embrace who I am … and encourage all who read this to do the same. Yes, doing this can be messy, sloppy, painful and uncomfortable; but that is the key to true connection … which is what we all long for.
Instead of comparing one form of courage to another, I think we can all recognize courage in all its forms-and one doesn’t have to detract from another! It is NOT a zero sum game!
I’ll end this post with a quote from Brene Brown-
“Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”
Be courageous! The world needs you!