Home » Beliefs and works » Blog » Thanksgiving – Courage

Thanksgiving – Courage

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

Courage is going to be a word much on our lips in the coming month as we edge closer and closer towards the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day. Many fine serving and past defence force personnel will be lauded for the acts of bravery, big and small, they have performed on our behalf. All of the kudos is richly deserved, however I prefer to focus on some non-military acts of courage for this reflection.

WTC Fire Fighters

Naturally there are conspicuous acts like that of Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who landed a stricken plane in the Hudson River in New York without loss of a single life. One might say no big deal, they train for that. Perhaps the bigger story belonged with the character of Sullenberger, which was unblemished and unable to draw a bad word from anyone. His moral compass was so properly formed that in the instant he was faced with danger there could be never any thought of him acting in a way other than selflessly and with the preservation of others, both in city buildings and on a plane, at the forefront.

Chesley Sullenberger

A few weeks back a Melbourne nurse Jenny Szymanski stepped forward where others stood back at a suburban train station. He was perilously close to the platform edge and was despondent and threatening harm. Where others avoided his challenging behaviours and took out mobile phones to film and photograph, she looked at him through the prism of humanity and thought he was a soul in need of a listening ear instead. That one act of courage salvaged the whole situation and saw him survive to head off to a facility and get the right treatment.

Finally to Pakistan, where the 12 year old school girl Malala Youfsufzai is hauled off a bus, shot and left for dead for having the audacity to go to school. She struggles back to health as the world waits a vigil on her, and then emerges to denounce the cowardly Taliban attack on her and the rights of women. It was a very bold and defiant act by someone who still has much to fear for family and friends in that tense country.

Malala Yousafzai

Courage is always such a mix – the boldness of the act hard-welded to the principles, character and spirit of the hero/ine who performs it. The story usually becomes much richer when the wider factors which lead them to that path are known. These acts are the ones that shouldn’t be hidden under a tub but instead put on a lamp stand for all the world to see.

To all the very public and private acts of courage displayed in the world day in and day out, and here I do include the defence forces, we say thank you.

Previous thanksgiving article: Balance

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

COPYRIGHT STATEMENT: All audio, visual and textual content which is included or linked to from this webpage remains the property of the original recording artist, author, producer, director or photographer, as the case may be, and the use of it is not intended to disobey any copyright law.

The images used and links made on this webpage are all done so on the understanding they fall under the Australian Copyright Act’s Fair Dealing provisions for the purposes of “Criticism and Review”.

No commercial activity or financial gain has been generated by the content on this webpage.

Scroll to top