Fear and Courage
As I am prone to do now and again, I’m going to break character here and post something serious.
I’m going to tell you something incredibly embarrassing in order to make a point. And I hope the point leaves you so affected, you’ll forget all about the incident that prompted this little lesson.
We have a rat. I don’t mean a tattletale, a scoundrel, or anything other than Rattus norvegicus. He came into our home via one of the myriad holes or wide open spaces, likely to get at the birdseed in the basement. Then he began exploring.
He was caught and disposed of brought to a beautiful farmhouse where he will live happily ever after, but ever since I have been what you might call skittish.
The other night I was downstairs watching the idiot box when I heard a noise. Everyone else was gone, and I was just sure it was another little beastie. I wanted desperately to get upstairs and close the door to the stairs so I could feel “safe.”
It took every last bit of my courage to force myself to get down from my position standing on the sofa and make the run for the upstairs.
I know you’re all laughing. I would be too if I wasn’t too busy being embarrassed, both about the fact that I have a rat in my house (!) and that I’m such a sissy about it.
When I finally made it past the place where the noise appeared to be located, I started thinking about how dumb I felt and why in the world was I scared of a little f@#$ing rat anyway? And what would I do if I had to muster the will to walk past real danger?
My husband knows what he would do.
My little freak out session made me imagine how I might feel if I was facing the possiblility of sniper fire or RPGs. And I imagined what my husband must have felt when he accompanied convoys in Iraq, not that I can even begin to know how that feels.
I understand all the arguments for and against this war, or wars in general. I can sympathize with both sides, really. And my husband does what he does because he believes our country and its ideals deserve protecting, not just becuase he didn’t have options after high school, or because he likes playing with guns.
He trained coalition forces over there. He made friends with Turks and Russians and Iraqis. He lost friends, too.
So let’s suspend what you may believe about dealing with other nations and diplomacy and how wrong you think this war is. There are arguments to be made on both sides. Let’s think instead about what it takes to stand up for what you believe in and put yourself in harm’s way to do it.
Would I be able to face that kind of fear for what I truly believe is the greater good?