“It’s not the great things we do that
matter, but the small things we do with
great heart “
Oodles of Courage
Remember the cowardly lion from the wizard of Oz? When Dorothy and her traveling companions meet the lion, who comes roaring out of the forest chasing little Toto, they are surprised to find that he is timid. He tells them that none of the animals in the forest fear him because he has lost his courage.
They convince him to join them on their journey down the yellow brick road to the Emerald city to meet the great Wizard of Oz in the hope of finding the courage he believes he lacks.
This completely goes against our concept of the brave lion and leaves us with the message that no matter how strong and brave someone might appear on the outside, we all face our own unique fears that hold us back from living the life we are destined to live.
Despite lack of belief, the Lion still has oodles of courage
Ironically however, despite his lack of belief, the lion still managed to behave in a courageous way. He leaped three times over a deep, wide ditch, each time, carrying one or two of his four friends safely to the other side. He scared off an onslaught of enslaved Winkies who had been sent by the Wicked Witch of the West to destroy him and his four friends. He killed the Giant Spider, and in doing so, ended the monster’s terrorist attacks against the inhabitants of the great old Forest.
Each of us has a little bit of the cowardly lion in us. I wonder how often in life we identify with the lion, believing that we too lack the courage to follow our destiny? How often do we give up before we have even started because we are bound by fear? And how often do we fail to credit ourselves for our acts of courage, missing the opportunity to see our greatness?
I have felt this many times in my life. When I took up flying lessons after my accident, I was still learning how to walk. All the other students at the flying school thought I was kidding myself, after all, how could a partial paraplegic ever learn how to fly? In the beginning, I couldn’t even use the feet controls of the aircraft!
I did learn to walk, and I did learn to fly, despite the fears and moments of doubt that plagued me during that time. Even today, I continue to remind myself that courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. It’s not about never being scared; it’s about taking the next step even when you think you can’t go any further. It’s the tenaciousness of not giving up, of giving it one more go even when you feel like quitting.
Everyday is a challenge and everyday requires oodles of courage. (By the way, I love the word oodles!) I know for me, each time I get out of bed in the morning, and put my feet on the floor, it’s going to take a certain amount of courage just to get through the day.
However, unlike the lion, we don’t need to drink some magic potion to find our courage, we just need to remember that no matter how tough it seems at times, and how many times we fall along the way, all we need is a willingness to take just one more step, and that is often enough. And just like the lion, we just need the right situation to help us realize how brave we really can be, we already have oodles of courage inside us.