Sometimes I feel as though I’ve heard it all before. I’ve listened to news stories day in and day out. I know people experience pain and suffering and I think, “wow. that really sucks” or “I’m so lucky to live where I do”. However, I don’t often let it sink in. I wish I could, but it is partially being desensitized and partially not wanting to let the power of these stories sink in because once I start sharing their pain, I have no valid excuse to not help. Unfortunately, I can be lazy, selfish, and brutish at times so I avoid the humbling and humanizing experience of sharing in someones suffering.
Occasionally, I allow something to pass by the walls I’ve built, and allow myself to feel some of the pain and share in the discomfort of someone else (compassion can hit you like a brick sometimes). So I’m sharing this story here because it, like so many stories, it needs to continue to be told. There is untold suffering in this world. I think they are all equally in need of sharing, for now I’ll just share this and hope it allows for compassion, and inspiration. I’m going to try to stop thinking, “yea, yea, yea I’ve heard it all before”, let my guard down more often—it might just bring me a little closer to my humanity.
Parents Lose Their Daughter And Their Life Savings To Opioids
Take a listen, let your guard down.
I recently finished reading the book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” written by psychologist Angela Duckworth (See her TED Talk). In the book Angela delves into the concept of grit and ways to be a gritty person. As I’ve been reflecting on the read, I realized just how many aspects of my life are touched by my ability to be gritty and choose to persevere over giving in and giving up.
Recently I have been faced with a potential job change. I have been offered a job working in experiential education which is something I am extremely passionate about. The downside is dollar signs $$. I would be practically cutting my pay scale in half. When reflecting on grit and the ways that it influences this decision, I realized that it really is a matter of grittiness. If I stick to the things I value and love (experiential education & challenging individuals to grow and change) I will have to give up comfort and security. This means I will have to improve and work to build my grit in order to persevere through that discomfort and fear.
“To be gritty is to resist complacency.”
If that line doesn’t hit home, I don’t know what does. As I ponder my lush desk job with its mildly comfortable paycheck, I realize that I don’t do much growing here. My job does not push me to be better, it doesn’t inspire or light my passions. Some of that is my own doing, but some of it is simply the position. Resisting complacency means putting myself in a state of fear and discomfort. I think that is the only way we grow.
Grit takes courage
Love Takes courage
Kindness takes courage
Integrity takes courage
Truth takes courage
Empathy takes courage
Compassion takes courage
Courage requires fear
If these are virtues I strive to live with, I suppose my decision is made. I must live with some fear in order to grow my courage, and ultimately grow in the virtues I value. There is no growth without discomfort.