Living Takes More Courage Than Dying

Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising that tempt you
to believe your critics are right.
To map out a course of action
and follow it to an end requires
some of the same courage that a soldier needs.
Peace has its victories,
but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Until my time comes there is no way to be certain, but experience makes me believe that living takes more courage than dying. Whether spending time well or badly, healthfully or sick, heartbroken or happy; being alive takes strength and guts. With severe illness or great sadness, even more so. And the older one gets and the more hurt and mistakes accumulate, the braver one must be to live well.

It is a fact of life that we find ourselves in unpleasant demoralizing situations which we can neither escape nor control. We can keep our morale and spirits high by using both coping and hoping humor. Coping humor laughs at the hopelessness in our situation. It gives us the courage to hang in there, but it does not bring hope. The uniqueness of hoping humor lies in its acceptance of life with all its dichotomies, contradictions, and incongruities. It celebrates the hope in human life. From one comes courage, from the other comes inspiration. Cy Eberhar

There are times when I get pulled down thinking “my life is difficult”, “I’m lonely”, “why do I have to go through this” or even the proverbial “why me?!”. Any human being who says they don’t think and feel such things is a liar. It’s the human condition to resist the difficult, to wish away what brings discomfort and to want ‘calm waters’ all the time.

When difficult or grueling times come I find relief in reminding myself life is tough; always has been, always will be. If it were easy all the time much of the value of life would be lost. I am grateful for the reminder this morning, that hardship, uncertainty and pain are just as much a part of a good life as love, peace and joy. Without the former, the latter would not mean nearly as much.  Learn to smile at yourself and you’ll always be amused!

It has been said that brave people are not necessarily fearless;
they are simply accustomed to, and more comfortable with,
facing fear and moving ahead in spite of themselves.
Tracy Cherpeski

Originally posted on September 20, 2012