We can often surprise ourselves in finding our courage in unexpected places.
Like everyone else, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions every day.
We learn to limit the amount of news we hear to help ourselves stay more hopeful and even.
We now have clean cupboards, desks, junk drawers, etc. – at least some of us do (not me).
I was rooting through my living room desk and found a thick envelope with my Dad’s writing on it.
Inside, was a 100-page account of his experience in combat in the 7th Armored Division through France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany.
He was an intelligence officer on the front lines. It was a hair-raising read and showed me how courage shows up unexpectedly in the toughest places.
His first experience that made the war all too real came in London when he was walking home after finishing the map-reading course to which he was assigned.
The buzz bombs started coming over and they were close. There was no cover anywhere so he hit the ground, face down.
A bomb landed two blocks away and the concussion was so great, it flipped him over completely – onto his back. Scaring the daylights out of him.
His unit was in the thick of the action for almost that entire year.
One of his observations was that when all hell was breaking loose, instead of falling apart, he became ultra-focused.
This helped him when he, his driver and several soldiers became lost behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge. He got them back capturing a few of the enemy and their tanks on the way.,
My dad was the steadiest person I have ever known. Now I know why.
He helped others and had so much compassion for the men he commanded.
He didn’t want to be part of the war – no one did. He rose to the occasion, like so many others, and in the process found the best of himself by doing the right thing, watching out for others, encouraging those in despair, and being completely reliable in the job he was given to do.
This is the time to find our best, to watch out for others by checking in on them – even if they seem fine. We are so used to appearing fine that we have lost the ability to observe the signals that we aren’t.
That goes double in a time when we have no ability to be face to face.
Find your best today. Make a list of three people to check on. Go out of your way to communicate and help another by just being present.
You may never know the difference you will make, but it will be bigger than you could ever imagine.