Courage is a gift, a gift that is hard earned, and comes with struggles, and a spirit of hardiness that stems from never giving up. Courage, belongs to everyone.
I was watching a documentary program about Taiwan, and a story touched me.
The story is about a junior school in a remote area of Taiwan. Many of the kids come from underprivileged families, and quite a few are malnourished. The junior school is grooming a baseball team, to attempt to help kids find an interest in attending school. Many of these kids have working parents and are not well taken care of, and do not even have proper meals. The school provides nutritious lunch and dinner for these kids, to help them grow more comparably to kids their age.
The baseball team is not a winning team. Many of these kids are shorter and thinner than their competitors. But their spirit is strong, and they are motivated to stay on the baseball team, to compete against the giants they face, and keep going in life.
Their training is tough, and from what I saw, comparable to some military training of adults. They are put through tough training, and yet they are motivated and driven, and attend school with a smile. Conversely, many kids their age in my locale are fattened with good meals and drowning in computer games.
Another attribute I have seen in these kids is respect. When they step on the field, they take a full bow in unison to the field, to show respect to the field, much like we martial artists who would take a serious bow when we step into the dojo, which we regard as a sacred place. These kids show the utmost respect not just to the field, but to their peers and competitors, and most certainly, their elders. It is a touching scene I rarely find in my locale these days. Respect is a powerful enabler that bonds people together, young and old.
There was a scene where these kids lost a game. The coach asked if the young players played their best. The young players acknowledged that they did not play their best and made mistakes. The coach asked the lead player of the team to run to a pole some distance away and back, in 8 seconds, or leave the team. The young boy ran to the pole and back, in over 17 seconds. He was asked to leave repeatedly by the coach, but the young boy, with tears, insisted he would not leave the team. That is motivation, self-respect, courage to stand before humiliation, and most of all, humility. He stayed.
In life, we face obstacles at whatever age, at whatever circumstances. Some of us are gifted with an easy journey. Some of us are gifted with a more challenging journey. Each of us are to find our way forward in our daily and lifelong struggles, with respect, motivation, courage, and humility.
Courage, belongs to us all. We never give up in life.
Dr Seamus Phan is the Head of Content and CTO at McGallen & Bolden. He is an expert in branding, marketing, communication, leadership training, crisis management, and entrepreneurship. This article may appear concurrently on his blog. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018 Seamus Phan et al. All rights reserved.