This last year I’ve seen two “based on a true story” movies about extraordinary courage.
The Finest Hours is a movie about the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. I was so interested in this story, that I tracked down the book to read. Yes, they took some liberties with the story, but they didn’t need to take any liberties with the basic rescue. It was freaking amazing.
The other movie is Sully, about the water landing of a US Air plane in the Hudson River in 2009. I understand that movie took a lot of liberties with the events after the crash (the investigation) to create drama, but the actual landing did not need ramping up. It was amazing and inspiring to see people band together to help each other.
In both cases, the people involved absolutely deserved to be called heroes.
We see and hear about acts of courage and cowardice in the news every day. Last week was a tough one for utter cowardice and depravity. I didn’t pause to look up the definition of a coward, but for me, it means someone who doesn’t do the right thing when it matters the most, or someone who uses their power to oppress or hurt someone weaker than them just because they can.
Such a contrast between utter depravity and people who risk their lives for someone they don’t know.
Both movies inspired me, and, I will confess, got a bit reflective about what I’d seen, both in the movies and on the news. I guess we all wonder what we’d do if…
Will I be brave enough to do the right thing when it matters most?
Most of our lives are spent being brave in small ways. Getting up when it hurts to move. Being kind when we’re tired and/or discouraged. Putting one step in front of the other when all we want to do is stop, quit, go fetal and cry.
My parents were heroes. They faced so many hard things, even before my mom had to watch my dad march off to war. They showed up over and over and over. In pain, in sorrow, they showed up and they also looked for—and found—joy in ordinary things. They lived mostly simple lives, but they lived deep. They didn’t have time for the shallows. They didn’t do bucket lists. They didn’t do fanfare and drama. They did Life. Real Life.
The world facing us is different from the one they faced in some ways, but one thing that doesn’t change is the need to be brave. To have courage. To inspire. To be our best selves. To be an example to those who come after us. To do the right thing when it matters and to do it when no one will ever know.
I’m so very grateful for the people in my life who have shown me how to do hard things. Who got up every day and lived. It is my sincere hope I can live up to them and the example they set.
Is there someone in your life who inspires you? A story of courage that gives you hope?
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