A cloak of courage

There are so many lessons to learn in life and sometimes you have to become a different person to learn them.

I love writing about characters who have to cope with extraordinary situations and experience colourful emotions, almost becoming different people and learning about themselves along the way.

When I was a kid there was a programme on UK television called ‘Mr Benn.’ It was about a cartoon character who visited his local fancy dress shop once a week to try on a different costume. Dressed as a spaceman, chef, cowboy or whatever, he got to become that person for a short time, with help from a magic shopkeeper. He saw life through that character’s eyes and discovered that you can learn a lot if you walk in someone else’s shoes.

In my fruitcake imagination it got me pondering…..wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a costume you could wear that turned you into a braver person?  It could hang in your wardrobe next to your coat and whenever you felt the need, you could pop it on and upgrade your life using your cloak of courage. What could we all achieve if we had one of those?

I used to work in a hospital and I was always amazed by the bravery of the patients, staff and families who were coping with so much. Whether it be a child with a broken arm, a patient recovering from a stroke or someone diagnosed with diabetes who is learning that they have to overcome their fear of needles to inject insulin every day for the rest of their lives. Personally, I know the fear most women feel as they approach childbirth and can understand the bravery in that. You have to ‘man up’ or ‘woman up’ and push yourself to be brave because there’s no choice. Externally we have to become a different person to appear in control, to convince ourselves and others that everything is OK.

But sometimes, I meet people who choose to be brave and do things that challenge them, even when they don’t have to. A friend of mine recently chose to adopt a child, which in my opinion is an extremely brave thing to do. He stepped into the unknown of parenthood and is facing all the challenges that come with it, which has to be applauded. A lifetime’s commitment which will truly help another person.

Whether it is donating blood to help others or telling someone you love them, even when they could laugh in your face, I am always impressed by the bravery involved. Doing anything ‘out of your comfort zone’ is a challenge which should surely be praised.

My dad has always encouraged me by saying, ‘Where’s your sense of adventure Sue?’ So today, once again, I put myself out there by writing this blog. It’s hardly equivalent to donating a kidney, or confronting my fear of large hairy spiders, but for me it’s a good example of me challenging myself and being a teeny-weeny bit brave.




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