The Many Faces of Courage

Courage2My mom is in town for Thanksgiving and we were having lunch at an outside cafe in downtown Santa Rosa. I noticed there were a lot of homeless people hanging out, near where we were sitting. One guy was going through a trashcan, drinking the dregs from tossed away coffee cups. He was oblivious to my attention, but the level of discomfort I felt was startling. I was watching an intimate act, something immensely private. As we were getting ready to leave, my mom overhears another homeless guy say “maybe they’ll give me their leftovers.” She turns to me and says “I think he’s referring to us.” The waitress comes and asks if we want to box up our food. I say yes and immediately the homeless guy is at our table asking if he can have the food. I tell him “let me think about it for a moment.”

He leaves the table and I ask my mom if she is attached to the leftovers. She tells me no, not particularly. The waitress returns with the boxed food and I walk it over to the homeless guy and wish him a happy Thanksgiving.

I am retelling this story because it is important for me to reflect on the courage that is a way of life for people in challenging situations. Both of these men were going against the status quo to take care of themselves. Their need to survive overrode their fears and their need to adhere to social graces.

As women in business, it is important to reflect on how being courageous is a part of who we are; that we experience, exhibit, and live a courageous life. Overcoming fear is not for the faint of heart and often arises when the challenge before us leaves no other option.

I want to acknowledge your wisdom, beauty, and value; as a woman in business you are inherently courageous! You are a woman who has hung out your own shingle, you’ve come to rely on your passion and ingenuity, uncovered resourcefulness you didn’t know you had, and you are living life “your way.”

I am awed by you, the courageous women in my life, and want to shout out my thankfulness for all you do to make my world a better place.