This I Believe

Cathy - Sedona, Arizona
Entered on December 22, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in common courage, bumbling bravery and stumbling faith. I believe that most of the time, most people will do the right thing more often than they will make a mistake or do the wrong thing with deliberance.

I believe that we get up in the morning, weary and resigned. And then we hear a small bird or see the sun or look at a beloved’s face and a perspective taking happens that offers us enough hope to go out into the world and do our jobs. We mentally “gird our loins” and gather the courage to go and do. And we do it well. We do the tasks set for us and come home to argue with the same recalcitrant child, the same reproving spouse about the same issues. We fail, go to bed, and get up and try again the next day.

I know a child who has a brain injury. Everyday he gets up and goes to school where he is taught the same lessons with only slight variations of what he was taught the day before. He can’t do it. He fails. And he gets up the next morning and comes back to school. His display of common courage shows me hope-in-motion. A general fluidity of purpose that is about making the concept of courage analogous to hope.

I believe in bumbling bravery. Most of us, most of the time are so caught up in the necessaries that we forget to live consciously. We tend to bumble along and most of the time, the bumble is good enough. The odd moments come when we are suddenly needing to rise to an Occasion. And we do. The surprise that we experience when we have caught the “ball” that we didn’t see coming is the result of bumbling bravery. A man steps out of a crowd surrounding a burning car, whips out his side cutters and stops the fire. Oh! A woman moves and grabs the child about to go over the edge of the Canyon – oh! You may ask, “did you plan that?” “How did you come to be there?” They don’t know, we don’t know, it was a brave bumble.

I believe in stumbling faith. The light that comes from faith is only rarely steady and unwavering, without flicker. I think it is the bobbing of the light that shows me, a follower, the topography of the terrain ahead. I believe that to have faith, you must stumble and fall, that it an obligation to those behind you, granting permission to fail and then setting the example of getting up anyway. I believe that it is about grace – Grace – that allows us to look ridiculous in our stumbling and bumbling and yet be dignified and sufficient.