One definition of the word coward is a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things. Well, well, well, I think most of us have a little coward coat hiding in our closet, don’t we now? I mean, depending on the day, unpleasant to me can be as simple as getting up at 4:30 am to get that workout accomplished. It’s dark and freeeezzzing outside…..ok, so it’s only 42 degrees, but in Arizona that feels super cold. 😉 I know that I’m not alone here because I watch us as a society check out when the sheer prospect of boredom or down time approaches. Walk into a doctor’s office or look at any waiting line, and you will see every other person checking their phone for social media updates or attempting to master the 258th level of Candy Crush for the 15th time. Most of us have courage to defend our family, stand up for a cause, contribute to a purpose for a short time……but how many of us care to sit in uncomfortable for very long at all, much less make it a daily proposition?
That’s exactly what I’m proposing though. I’m sitting here on my couch after the return of my trip to Ghana, feeling a little sad because for a minute there (10 days to be exact), my life had a pretty defined purpose. It was also a bit uncomfortable in as many ways as one would care to imagine. It was: hot, dirty, far from home, long travel days, chaotic, boring, and overwhelming. The result was simply amazing. Work at a basic level leaves one grateful for the simple, humble for the opportunity and desperate to feel the community of humankind.
People ask what I took away from the trip and the answer is many things. But what I sit with the most right now is that I don’t want to let go of living life with purpose while being a bit uncomfortable. I challenge all of us cowards to consider how we can live on the edge of our comfort zone. I’m going to share here on my blog what I wrote to the community of The Odyssey Preparatory Academy, the school I work for, while I was traveling. It explains best why I went to Ghana and what I hoped to accomplish while I was there. As I’m sure my long time readers can imagine, there are deeper concepts that I will be mulling over and will share soon. In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season. May you be a bit uncomfortable in all that you do. 😉
P.S. The opposite of coward? Hero.