It always comes as a bit of a surprise that sometimes people remember and take seriously what I say on a Sunday morning. An example of this is on our dining room table. A month or so ago, in a Sunday morning reflection, I referenced three questions which two parents asked their children each day.
How were you kind today?
Where did you try something new and fail?
How were you brave today?
I sat down for dinner on evening after that sermon and on our dining room table were three rocks. Each rock had one of those questions written on it in marker. Now each night when we sit down to eat, whether or not we directly ask or answer them, those questions are a part of our meal.
The question “How were you kind today?” is easy.
In my interactions with others I do my best to be kind and respectful.
“Where you try something new and fail?” is harder.
So much of our days are doing those tasks which are a part of each day.
But the truth is I need to learn to risk more than I do.
But, the question I have been thinking about the most is “How were you brave today?”
Given situation and circumstance, I recognize there are different levels of bravery.
The bravery of first responders.
The bravery of walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL.
The bravery of working on hands and knees to dig survivors out of the rubble in Aleppo.
But for me…
Where I live…
Being brave also has something to do with my doing my best to be a decent human being. When so much conspires to make us cynical and to play one off against the other. And, when we are told it is okay to lift ourselves up by putting others down attitudes like kindness and compassion and honesty and respect become small acts of bravery standing up against that which would tear down and tear apart.
Be brave by being kind.
Be brave, by treating others with respect.
Be brave, by being honest.
Be brave by rejecting cynicism and holding onto hope.
Be brave by seeing what might be rather than just what is.