My moment of truth came March 1, 2014 in the driver seat of an F250 pick up truck. I was responsible for others’ lives and was the only one who could see the headlights of a semi about to plow into us. I had a choice to make…and no time for navel-gazing contemplation! Do I guard my own self interest and make a run for it? Or do I guard the lives of my passengers? If you think it was an easy choice, you’re very mistaken. But it was the only choice that I could make and still be true to what is most important. On that day I acted with courage and nearly lost my life, but I found my heart.
Americans sit in a metaphorically similar seat. I believe in the fortitude and goodness of my fellow citizens. Yes a lot of nasty things have been said and done in response to the election, but regardless of how the majority vote swung the majority of Americans believe in strength of character. The majority of Americans are not painting swastikas on walls, bullying kindergartners, or threatening minorities. Those people are the danger coming; they’re not the solution. For the rest of us, we have a choice to make. Do we run away with our emotions and further polarize our country? Or will we act with the courage to set aside our fear and anger in the interest of keeping our nation alive and well?
The word courage has its roots in the French word “coeur”, meaning heart. The solution to the danger we see lies first and foremost in our ability to act with heart. As has been said many times courage is not an absence of fear; it’s taking action despite it. Every time you choose to act with a heart for others you’re stepping into the role of a leader. A leader isn’t someone with power or position; it’s someone with courage and character and the world desperately needs more leaders. Now is the time for all Americans of good character to become the solution, to become leaders with HEART. We protect our country by first guarding the well-being of our neighbors, including and especially those with whom we disagree. And instead of running away, we lean in with courage. Now is our moment of truth.