“Courage is a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger,
and a mental willingness to endure it.” – Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman
At times, for me, the idea of being courageous has nothing whatsoever to do with danger in the warlike sense that Gen. Sherman meant it, but simply in the notion of doing whatever needs to be done in order to live. As a breast cancer survivor, I have endured my share of surgeries, pain, sadness, fear and being at the mercy of others. I have known gratefulness for those who take the extra moment to connect humanly to me and I have seen others who don’t see me as anything more than another duty.
But in fact there are times in our lives where we all have to show some courage…we have to go out on a limb and try to be the person we desire to be most. To take that small extra step or extra moment with someone else. To have a bit more patience than necessary and than comfortable. To reach out beyond what is expected in order to comfort a loved one, a friend and even a stranger.
To me, sometimes it’s the little things which tug at my heartstrings. Not that I don’t appreciate the big ones either because I do. I clearly remember my first breast surgery back in 2002 and the subsequent hospital stay. In the middle of the night I had to go to the bathroom and I couldn’t get up out of bed by myself. The male nurse who arrived kindly helped me to the restroom, waited outside for me to finish and then helped me back into bed. As I slid back onto the pillows in my bed, he patiently took all the covers off of me and rearranged them, smoothing them so that they weren’t a mess like me. To have my bedding rearranged and smoothed, pillows fluffed and tucked in made me more comfortable for which I was truly grateful.
It was one of the kindest things I’ve had happen to me at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. I know it probably sounds strange to you, but sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most!
So today, on your travels, take a moment when you get that flash of inspiration to hold a door, smile at someone or even just say a kind word. Your little extra effort means the world to you and to the recipient! It always does.