There seems to have been a slight mix-up recently. A mincing of words, of opinions, of thoughts and of accusations. In my eyes, a rather unjust misunderstanding has taken place and it all stems from two topics… Caitlyn Jenner and Courage.
A couple of days ago a man by the name of Terry Coffey from Salem, Oregon decided to post the following “status” update… (Click on the date at the end, not his name to be taken to the actual post)
As you can see from all the shares that it’s gotten, a lot of people agreed with him. Many truly believe that courage, bravery and heroism, are only allowed to come from the military or to fight for one’s country. Now don’t get me wrong… YES, this IS a courageous thing to do. And we should always salute our soldiers; our men and women who fight bravely for our freedom, every day. But the last time I checked, that’s not the only way to be courageous.
What many of us seem to forget is the tiny struggles that we face every day. The ones where it’s hard to carry on. The ones where we can’t even face ourselves in the mirror. The ones that we eventually conquer. Shouldn’t that be deemed courageous too? Who are we to say that one person’s achievement of happiness isn’t courageous for them.
Personally, I think there are many forms of courage/bravery/heroism out there and it most definitely does not just mean bravery out on the battlefield. Courage is something that should never be defined. It should be moulded to the individual’s needs. Are doctors not brave? What about nurses? Teachers? A little boy who stood up to a bully? A little girl who called the police on her abusive father? Women who give birth to life every single day? An organ donor? A homeless person surviving on the streets? A fire fighter? Someone who has remained sober? Someone who has fought for equality for all? Someone who has fought oppression, racism and bigotry? Or someone who’s fought off cancer and won? Or someone who’s looking at the bright side when their battle with cancer was lost? Now… how about an Olympic testosterone fuelled man who decided to stop living a lie for 65 years and become a woman; transforming before the whole world. I would think that that would take some courage and bravery. The last time I checked we are not a whole society. We do not share the same happiness when others ‘come out’ so to speak. Could you imagine the hatred that would get spewed at you every day? No, I could not. And quite frankly, I’m not sure I would have the balls for it, so to speak. Or the stomach for that matter.
However, it’s funny how things turn out sometimes. There was a pretty big irony to Terry Coffey’s post. At first he was not aware of the photo’s origins. The one that he chose to accompany his status with. What he later realised was that, that image was from a documentary called “Marwencol” which happens to be about Mark Hogancamp, a cross-dresser.
In 2000 Mark Hogancamp was beaten up by 5 men outside a bar after they found out that he was a cross-dresser. He was in a coma for 9 days, suffering from brain damage and memory loss. Mark decided to start taking World War II mock photos in his backyard in a town that he called Marwencol. He did this so it could stimulate his mind.
Terry Coffey eventually found all this out and then created another status….
My final rant would be to reiterate that there are many different forms of courage. Therefore I plead… please, let’s not dismiss others so quickly. Let’s embrace everyone’s struggle. For we are all courageous, brave and a hero, in our own little way.