And I said, “Moral courage? Who needs it?”

That phrase was probably bandied about right before the destruction of Puckworld.

there’s actually a website dedicated to these unsung heroes:
http://www.md-tas.50megs.com/index.html

If you get that reference I feel kind of bad for you. Also, that would most likely make you one of my siblings, but I don’t feel bad for you about that.

To find the best example of moral courage in my life you needn’t look further than the first lady I met on July 22nd, 1988.

This isn’t her, by the way. But I am the baby in this picture, so I thought it kind of worked…

My mother is quick, intelligent, she knows what she believes and she can explain exactly why she believes it. (And unlike the proverbial clanging gong and clashing symbol, she adds love to her list of other qualities.) I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her tartly tell a  policemen that “no, she did not throw a cigarette out the window” while driving us home from school one day. I would have been like, “Uh, I’ve smoked like two cigarettes in my entire life, and not until I was 18 I might add, and I don’t know w-where that one came from but it wasn’t–” and he would have already finished writing me a ticket because he would have thought I was confessing. In pressure situations I can barely think at all; usually not even enough to tell the truth concisely.

My mom will stand up to anyone if the need arises. She doesn’t just feel sad when people are abused; she has opened her home to a friend who had no safe harbor.  Neither does she tolerate children bullying other children, and she’s not afraid to reprimand them even when they’re friends or schoolmates of her children. Admittedly, not something I would have considered a good thing at the time. But now, as a person sometimes paralyzed by what others will think(even children that I’ll probably never see again), I envy and admire that immensely!

Moral courage is something I have lately been feeling the lack of in myself. When I was younger and cared less about how people perceived me (or didn’t realize one could care what others thought, hence my real cute outfits) I had no problem calling boys in junior high “jerks!” for making fun of one of my friends. Sometimes my hot little temper used to jump into the breach on the side of good. Now it just comes out in useless anger against people who can’t order their coffee politely. Whether or not that is a form of righteous anger is up for debate.

I guess my fear of confrontation has held me back in this regard. I’ve heard people I like talk trash about other people I like, and all I did was silently frown, as if to say, “If you happen to look at me while you’re talking to that other person, you will see distaste on my face. Crap, don’t look at me! I’m not ready to make a statement about your unacceptable behavior!”

The really illogical part is this crazy little circle in my head: I constantly doubt that the people around me like me, yet I’m afraid to do something they won’t like me for. It don’t make no sense! Crazy little circles rarely do.

So is it too late to gain that kind of courage? I have learned this unfortunate truth: you can’t absorb talent just by watching someone else be good at something. However, I do believe observation is a necessary step in the process. The other steps would involve me getting over myself and choosing what is right o’er what is easy. Isn’t it always easier to do nothing?

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