Courageous & Kind
Part of my prayer every morning is that my kids will be courageous AND kind. I’m not sure I’ve ever read that or even said it often in everyday conversation, yet it keeps showing up in my head every morning.
It’s tough though, isn’t it?
Courage is cool. We celebrate the arrogant confidence of the rising executive that takes measured risks to elevate his place in the company. We laud after the athlete that has the guts to take the game winning shot.
Kindness is nice. We say please and thank you. We hold the door open. We like kind people.
This is how society sees it, anyway.
It’s not how I see it.
Why Should We Care?
To me, courage is vulnerability. It’s knowing you will be out of your comfort zone and going for it anyway. It’s being unsure, but giving it your absolute best effort regardless. Courage is owning your mistakes. It’s making sacrifices for others that can never be repaid.
Kindness is choosing others over ourselves. It’s seeking to understand another person’s story before we create one for them. It’s giving over receiving. Kindness meets you where you are, no matter how far that is from where I am. It’s asking how you are, and listening to the answer.
Courage without kindness is pretty common. People steamrolling over those in their peripheral areas with no concern for anyone but themselves is what the competitive world is all about. In these situations courage begins to look like unwavering self-belief, or confidence. However, it soon morphs into pushing others down as a means to appear elevated.
Kindness without courage is also common. People all over the world are kind when it’s convenient, when it doesn’t conflict with societal norms. There’s nothing special about that.
The combination of courage and kindness leads to another level that most don’t know exists.
Courage and kindness embrace adversity while dispelling comparison. Together they allow us to see the good in people at their darkest times. They give us the persistence to continue, knowing that we aren’t what we used to be or what we’re going to be. Courage and kindness is the combination that lays the foundation of excellence in our lives.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Becoming more courageous and kind is difficult but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Courage and kindness are a rare combination. It attracts people to you and elevates your team. The combination is a mix all leaders should be pursuing. Go ahead and throw it in that prayer tomorrow morning.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.