Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. – Seneca
What does that mean?
While I don’t know the exact situation in which this quote was originally used, I believe it has application in our lives today in many forms. This quote has special meaning to me today, as a distant friend is dying of cancer. She has fought as best she can, and will soon find rest. But she chose to live, and to fight, and demonstrate her courage daily.
Similarly, Pope John Paul II, when diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neural condition, he chose to continue to live his life in public. He wished to demonstrate that sick people shouldn’t hide, and that there was dignity in the act of living. Despite declining health, he remained as active as he could, if only to prove his point.
In parts of the world, this quote could apply to those suffering from severe hunger or poverty. It can apply where human rights are violated and pain and suffering are a way of life. What we might consider unbearable is the daily lot of many people. Yet they find the courage to continue on with their lives.
To me, these examples say a lot about the human spirit, don’t they?
Why is finding the courage to continue on important?
Sometimes it just seems so easy to give up. Around my house are dozens of projects that are partially finished. They hit a bump in the road, and there they sit. Some will be restarted when I figure out how to get going again, the others will never move forward again.
Sometimes, instead of a project, it’s our health. I’ve screwed up my knees, ankles, back, shoulders, neck, and many other parts. But I try to stay as active as I can. I’m still trying to get back into running and taking martial arts. I do this not because it’s easy, but because it’s a challenge, and it takes a little courage to face the physical discomfort.
This quote may discuss the most extreme and dire of situations, a person on the ragged edge of life, but I believe it applies to every aspect of our lives. Whether we pull back because of injury to our emotions or spirit, or because we are hiding from past failures, we still need (and deserve) to live. And it will take courage to fully do so.
Where can I apply this in my life?
While we all shall eventually die, I believe we can make use of this quote at other times, while still healthy and active. While it is often discussed in terms of the ending of life, it can also apply to those who are too afraid to live. That is not a good situation in which to find anyone.
Sometimes people get angry, depressed, or hurt, and try to withdraw from the world. Perhaps only a little, or in certain situations, but they have lost the courage to live fully. Perhaps they will withdraw physically, and just not show up as often. Other times they will withdraw mentally or emotionally, or by using (or more accurately abusing) substances.
Sometimes, bad things happen to good people, even our friends. We can lament the unfairness of their situation, or we can learn from their struggle, their courage, their determination, as well as from their words and their actions. Many people took great comfort and found courage in the example of Pope John Paul II.
Not every bad thing that happens to us, or our friends, has to be life threatening or related to health for this quote to be useful. Ask any teenager who just had a breakup with the love of their life. It’s all over, isn’t it? At least that is the way it seems to them, right?
Yet most will find the courage to continue to live. Some will try to withdraw from the pain. Each will find their own way. We can help, if they will let us. And I believe it is our place to attempt to help, provided the relationship is proper and appropriate.
This quote can also apply to anyone who has become addicted to anything, from the internet, to shopping, to alcohol, to prescription medicine, to street drugs or whatever else one can become addicted. They must find the courage to continue to live, to face what drove them into hiding in the first place.
To me, this quote is urging us to help those we can, both by lending assistance, and by our example. That means complaining less and living more. It sounds easy, until the challenge hits you. Physical or emotional pain. Your temptation or the calling of your hiding place. Life will challenge you. It’s up to you to find the courage to live.
Celebrate those who struggle to make the most of what they have, and the time they have left. We all will die. However, not all of us will have truly lived. Those who find the courage, they will live. And for those of us who know them or admire them, they will always live in our memories. All because they found a little courage.
From: Twitter, @philoquotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna104718.html
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