Inspiring Courage

A few years ago this idea of inspiring courage came to my mind. I was volunteering in ESL small group helping two ladies work through a practice exercise to solidify the lesson we had just gone over as a larger class. One of the ladies was Indian about 40 years old. The other lady was Chinese and close to 60 years old. I tell you their differences to highlight their similarities in a moment. They had been friends for the past two years and often sat next to each other in class. I was thankful they had welcomed me into their friendship and enjoyed learning more about them each week in addition to helping them learn English. Having grown up in Queens, an ESL classroom is like taking me home. After the the activity was over the Indian lady started talking about her love for swimming while the Chinese lady expressed that she wished she knew how to swim. Then the Chinese lady started talking about driving and the Indian lady said she didn’t know how to drive. I sat there just listening as the two of them encouraged the other to learn the skill that they did not know all the time sitting in a class learning to speak English together. I walked away that day a proud teacher and determined that we need to inspire courage in each other! None of us has arrived we are all learning but we all have skills that we can teach to another person and skills that we can learn from another person. But we have to be open. Open to sharing what we need to learn and being willing to start learning. When we choose to be open we not only open ourself up for growth but we also inspire courage in those around us. I choose to live this way willing to learn and willing to teach – living a life to inspire courage and be courageous!

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