|Born to be… by artmajor24, on Flickr. Creative Commons license.|
Courage is defined by Google as "the ability to do something that frightens one" or "strength in the face of pain or grief". In my life, I've found my own definition of courage to be most in line with the first. I grew up in a very critical environment, and unfortunately I often find myself afraid to try something because I know I can't do it perfectly, or I don't know exactly how it will turn out. Often I have to make myself do things that I know objectively would benefit me or others that I care about, but that I am afraid to do. A group I am part of locally puts on a Winter Solstice service for the UU church every year, and this year they asked me to play guitar for a song. I'm a decent, though not particularly good player, but performing in front of others honestly terrifies me. It took a great deal of courage to even play in front of others at our practices, but after several times I began to feel more comfortable. In the end I summoned the courage to sit before 100 or so UUs and perform, and the added atmosphere garnered many compliments and has helped to grow the local community.