Courage is Contagious

September 20, 2019

Janice Stone

Brave people inspire those around them to be brave. Annie Downs

I have watched many friends and family walk through some really difficult times. I have observed how they walked through their times and let me just say ... their courage has been contagious.

Brave people know their purpose. They know their why and what gives them meaning. Their purpose gives them a peace, clarity, passion, and confidence in their journey.

This does not mean that they do not question, or have frustrations, have times of sadness or anger. But their purpose carries them through with a consistency that allows them to get back to their place of meaning ... to their why.

They do not always, probably rarely, control the circumstances but they do control their response. That takes courage.

My favourite reads are biographies. They are full of stories of incredible bravery that tell us that we are braver than we think.

A biography I recently read was about Victoria Arlen who began to get sick at age 10 and after a few months slipped into a vegetative state. For four year she was unresponsive, although she was aware of what people were saying around her. When she was 15 she miraculously "woke up" and beginning with simple eye blinks started to let those around her know she was conscious. Her story is amazing and full of courageous steps to fight her way back. With strength and determination she went on to win a gold medal at the London Paralympics and multiple world, American and Pan American medals and records. She even competed on Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars ... all while having no feeling in her legs. The story of training her legs that she did not have any feeling in, to walk, swim, compete and dance is one of the most courageous fights I have read about. Her story inspired me to be brave.

A story of courage close to home is of a beautiful 21 year old girl that was already living her life boldly and leaving a legacy. She knew her purpose and was living it out boldly. Those around her were shocked when they heard the news that she had lost her life in a terrible car accident one week after getting engaged to the love of her life.

Making brave choices in your life are going to change the world. Annie Downs

Her courage was contagious. The legacy that was spoken about during her funeral will leave a ripple effect for many many years in the lives of many. Her relationships that she poured into, her blog posts, and her love for others clearly displayed her life purpose with courage. People knew her why by the way she lived out her values and passions.

It is the only funeral I have ever been to where the pastor did not need to say anything after family and friends spoke about her. Everything had already been clearly said. How she lived her life said it all.

The brave choices we make have a powerful effect on those around us. Whether it is your friends, children, grandchildren, or co-workers ... sometimes it is just acquaintances, but our courage has an impact on those around us.

We leave a legacy. We all leave a legacy.

My aunt and uncle that lived the journey of MS left their courageous legacy. A family that lost two sons and brothers, one to a rare disease within a day and one to a senseless murder, continue to leave their legacy and have changed lives around them. My friends and family who have walked the journey of illness and cancer have made brave choices and inspired others. It is the depth of courage and authenticity that each one lived that has an impact on others and challenges them to live with that same strength of courage.

May these stories remind us as we live each day that our choices today can change the world. As we change diapers, prepare meals, lead meetings at work, enjoy a lunch with a friend, service our customers, or care for a parent, our courage is contagious.

Will your legacy be one of bravery and courage? Do people around you know your purpose by the way you live your life? Do you live your values and passions forward, leading your life and living the best version of you that you can live?

Change the world one brave choice at a time.