Takes COURAGE to Live

Again, sorry for not writing for a while.  And again… MANY THANKS FOR CHOOSING TO TAKE THE TIME TO READ MY WRITING.

So, since May 31, 2019, I have been on vacation.  I write this on June 19, 2019.  I have had 19 days to have responsibility for me.  My choices on how to spend my time and check out my choices: 

1).  June 2 – 6, 2019 – In Disneyland, celebrating Katy Everts’s graduation from the University of Idaho.  Such a fantastic time.  We were able to enjoy the company of our son (Katy’s Bro) PJ, his wife – Ashlee, their son – Jason Paul (JP) and Ashlee’s MAID OF HONOR – Kayla. Also, along for the enjoyment was Katy’s new boyfriend, Adam.  A fun time.  It was many years we had spent so much time at Disneyland.  Don’t want to get into details, but it was a BLAST. 

2).  June 10 – 14, 2019 – Roseville Summer Music Camp sponsored by Roseville Community Band.  OH MY GOODNESS!! That was wonderful.  It was the first time in many years I had the pleasure of teaching REAL BEGINNINGS 10-13 year-olds.  Again, I teach high school and have taught since July 3, 1989!  To teach beginners is a real stretch.  I also had the pleasure of being with my colleagues for the week.  I am indebted to Stephanie & Joe (Stephanie’s Husband) for directing the camp.  Just an outstanding time.

3).  June 14 – 16, 2019 – Attended the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Pebble Beach.  ME HOME!  Wow!  What an impressive set up.  Yes.  The golf was amazing.  The companionship with our 81 year-old friend Greg was very special.  But, my goodness … the tens-of-thousands of people attending the event was impressive.  It was truly once in a lifetime and I appreciated it.

4).  June 18, 2019 – My departed Aunt’s birthday.  She passed away June 2016.  For the first time in over a year, I played nine holes of golf.  BY MYSELF!  Enjoyed “me” alone time.  Loved I could listen to ARMSTRONG & GETTY while I was playing golf.  Made a REAL PAR!!  Morgan Creek Golf Course.  Par Three.  Sixteenth hole.  WOOOO HOOOO 

5).  June 19, 2019 – Northern California Conductor’s Symposium.  Just got home from visiting that event.  WOW!  So many hugs.  Smiles.  LOVE!  I am grateful for all the love.  We need to feel appreciated and connected.  AWESOME!  Loved watching the “brave / courageous” educators take the podium in front of the band! 

So, since May 31, 2019 – 19 days – I have done quite a bit.  Today. I sit and write my blog. 

You may think differently, but it takes COURAGE to write a blog.  No. It does.  Not the same courage that our son and students have who are in the military.  Not the same courage that former students have who are policemen or fire fighters.  No.  A different courage.  And yet, courage is courage. 

Since May 31, 2019, many times, I have seen and / or heard the word COURAGE. I am wondering if that is a word GOD wants me to reflect on.  Yes, I just ended the previous sentence with a preposition.  It takes courage to end a sentence with a preposition and then have all the GRAMMAR NAZIS ready to correct your syntax.  BLEH! 

Let’s think about the word COURAGE.  As usual, I will refer to my leadership GURU – Dr. John C. Maxwell to help us with the word COURAGE. 

In Dr. Maxwell’s book THE 21 INDISPENSABLE QUALITIES OF A LEADER, Dr. Maxwell defines the word COURAGE:  one person with courage is a majority.  I sense that to be the case.  In the United States, there is a lot of groupthink / tribalism.  I believe this has gained “strength” due to social media.  I consider what I am doing as “the one person” being a majority.   I am one person who is going to share my mind and realize MANY OTHERS would not accept that risk to share his / her mind.  COURAGE. 


Courage begins with an inward battle. – Dr. Maxwell 

There are plenty of quotes that cause us to reflect on how we treat ourselves.  We need to do a better job at treating ourselves as great as we treat others.  What we say.  What we read.  How we love.  Self-talk is dangerous.  Hopefully / probably more times than not, you say things to yourself that many others would never think of saying to you. 

Courage is making things right, not just smoothing them over. – Dr. Maxwell

How difficult it is to have “difficult-conversations?”  NO JOKE.  I have a real difficult time confronting people.  Yet, cancer and confrontation are similar in the sense the longer we wait to address either, the better chance the cancer will kill us or the lack of confrontation will kill a relationship.  I am doing what I can to accept, I am NOT RESPONSIBLE for the other person’s response.  I am responsible for how I deliver my message / thoughts. 

To help you improve your courage, do the following:

FACE THE MUSIC.  Set-up small attainable goals.  The things we do not want to do may be the things we need to do.

TALK TO “THAT” PERSON.  My most challenging.  Yet, more times than not, when I talk to “that” person, turns out for the better.  Even if it turns out we split from one another.  There are 300 million in this nation.  Do what you can to make things “right,” while at the same time realize, I need to be at peace with myself and if that peace is not good because of that person, I am not adding peace to his / her life either.  The Law of the Magnet:  we attract people who are like us. 

TAKE A GIANT STEP.  Small / daily victories can lead to “GIANT STEP” VICTORIES!!  Maybe it’s get a new job.  Ask for a raise.  Whatever stretches you. 

Part of my purpose for writing a blog is – TO TEACH!  I know several of my current / past students are reading my blog.  I write with them in mind.  In the public high school classroom, I have been “asked” to focus more on music than on the students.  Sad.  I used to focus more on the students and less on the music.  I could go on with how miserable that “directive” (focus more on the subject than on the students) is, but NO.  For my current and future students, I have found another way to communicate what is more important than music.  But, BTW… all of what I write can be connected to music.  Courage and music can go together.  But, Oh well…

I look at my students as future adults.  BECAUSE, THEY ARE GOING TO BE FUTURE ADULTS.  Teenagers are ADULTS IN TRAINING.  Adults need to know about COURAGE and frankly, every topic I write about.  (Damn… there is that sentence ending in a preposition – GIGGLE)

Since every student I have can be a leader, leadership requires courage (Dr. Maxwell). 

  • All leaders need to SEEK THE TRUTH.  You never find yourself until you face the truth.
  • All leaders need to CHANGE.  Courage is the power to let go of the familiar (this is a little easier as the teenager than the adult reading this blog)
  • All leaders need to EXPRESS CONVICTIONS.  Convictions help us to stand alone.  The test of courage comes when we’re in the minority. 
  • All leaders need to OVERCOME OBSTACLES.  Whatever you do, someone will think you’re wrong.  Expect trouble.  Project courage. 
  • All leaders need to LEARN AND GROW.  You have not learned until you step out, take a risk, and do something new. 
  • All leaders need to TAKE THE HIGH ROAD.  There is no traffic jam on the second mile. 
  • All leaders need to LEAD OTHERS.  Leadership is the expression of courage that compels others to do the right thing. 

The root of the word COURAGE is French:  COUER.  And what is the translation of COUER?  Heart.  Having courage takes heart.  You need to have heart in what you do, while at the same time, protect / guard your heart.  Realize that when you take a stand, someone is going to push you back. You are placing your heart in the decisions / choices you are making.

To ask for a hand, you need to first touch a heart.  COURAGE.  Giving someone your heart takes courage.  Asking for someone’s hand takes courage. 

Be courageous today!  Help someone.  Allow someone to help you.  Share your thoughts and accept the courage to be responsible for your thoughts.  Display courage so others will know what courage looks like. 

One more time… it takes the heart (couer) to have / show courage.  You have a heart.  BE COURAGEOUS.