Exploring Courage: It Worked for Us
June 6, 2014 marks the 70th
anniversary of D-Day. Remember? That’s when Allied forces landed on the
Normandy beaches to fight for freedom. 9 000 Allied soldiers died on that day to enable 100 000 fellow military to march, swim, fly, and drop into Normandy.
D-Day is HUGE Deal Day still in our year.
Many of these young soldiers knew their lives were at stake. Faced with danger, they went forward anyway. That’s courage.
Would you and I and our kids call out “present”
when facing challenge? How do we
encourage courage in our homes? Try
these simple, entertaining, and rich ways.
Read on to learn about our TWO free downloads or click below for the first.
How do you and your family define courage? You could look it up in the dictionary...you could also create your own definition based on quotes.
Dowload our selection of courage quotes (including some young kids can appreciate). Let each family member choose three that they appreciate and then decide together on your final key elements.
Our family launched into a discussion on courage and, after several back-and-forth’s, came to realize that we were not all starting from the same standpoint. Our confusion stimulated us to agree upon a common definition. As we pursued our exploration, we discovered increasing layers to courage: the relationship with context, the presence of danger vs. anxiety, the testing point...
Some of these quotes made us laugh, Winston Churchill’s in particular. One person disagreed with him completely.
“This quote is interesting only because Winston Churchill said it. Had it been Denise Dampierre’s words, people would think it stupid.”
“Thank you, darling!!!” replied Denise Dampierre.
Evaluate the Courage in Daily Life
Each person gets to rank the level of courage required for various behaviors at work, school or home. Place each of the Banners (a dozen for each work, school, and home) on the Courage Scale, somewhere between “Tiny Courage” or “Tons of Courage.” Think it through. Some of the Banners might indicate a behavior that is noble but not courageous. We’ve included some sneaky Banners; they are neither noble nor courageous. Find them!
This activity generated TONS OF DISCUSSION among our teen boys and their dad. Fascinating! Here are some of the questions that arose: (You might not agree with them. We did not. We did, however, listen to each other!)
- Could some actions be courageous in one context and downright cowardly in another?
- Have we made courage irrelevant to our lives by eliminating danger?
- Can I be courageous without facing difficulty?
- If work requires more courage than school which requires more courage than home, then how do we train in courage?
How do you stand up to a bully?
Recognize Courage in Your Lives
Because we talked about courage all together, it is easier to broach the subject in our daily conversation. Here’s an (exaggerated) excerpt of a recent exchange between my husband and I during dinner.
“Darling, I do find I’m courageous when I express my beliefs to you.”
“Never. You are totally wrong. I am always open-minded.”
“...Like when you want my opinion, you give it to me...”
“Well of course. But only about the Bible because I’m THE expert in the family.” (I have led Bible studies for over 15 years.)
“Of course, darling. About parenting too?” (Again, I have led and attended seminars, studied widely, and experimented galore with our family and beyond.)
“Exactly. I’m THE BEST father in the family.”
“You’re right! And still, sometimes I feel that it takes courage to share my opinions.”
“Humm. Dessert anyone?”
Meanwhile, the boys are cracking up....We all end up laughing. And later on in the evening I cuddle up to my husband and whisper that I recognize there are times when I’m telling him his opinions too.
“It must take courage to be my husband!”
Now that courage is a familiar discussion topic among us parents and kids, it’s easy to inquire, “Who’s got a courage story to share today? At school? At work? In life?!”
Photo of Winston Churchill by Yousuf Karsh in 1941. I saw his photo exposition at the Mona Bismark American Center in Paris. Fantastic.