05 Apr Ordinary Courage | April 2018
What is ordinary courage?
It seemed like a good idea.
In 2010 Sea & Sage, my local Audubon Chapter, was holding a gathering of bird photographers.
According to the e-mail, each photographer could bring 20 photos to show the others.
Even though I had been taking photos of birds for only a few months, I decided to attend. But I had only 12 photos that I considered worth showing.
So I arrive and find myself in a gathering of exceptional photographers.
For example, the man hosting the event had been taking photos for as long as I had been alive.
And then the show begins, featuring exquisite photos of:
– Penguins from Antartica
– Toucans from South America
– Rare storks from Africa
These photos showed birds diving into the sea, flying through rainforests, and building nests.
It was incredible.
Finally, my turn began with this photo:
– A sparrow from Fullerton
Perched on a branch, with a busy background, and doing nothing.
I could feel a polite yawn fill the room.
But wait, there’s a point here.
Most likely you have heard tales about extraordinary courage, where people take incredible risks.
At the other end, there’s:
This applies to all of us because it provides realistic opportunities to be courageous every day.
You see, ordinary courage is the habit of choosing actions that lead toward the greatest good, even when you feel unsure or afraid.
For example, that evening I showed the courage to be ordinary.
In return, I could see what extraordinary photos looked like. And that gave me a vision of what I wanted to achieve in my photography.
Now, I’ll admit that I’m far from being extraordinary.
But I have improved over the past eight years.
And that’s what makes every journey worthwhile.
By the way, there’s a better photo of a White-Crowned Sparrow in this post: Song of Courage
Also see: Profile in Courage
Did You Know?
The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.
Here are two organizations that excel at doing this.
Please visit their web sites to learn about how they are making a difference.
Here’s an outstanding book about bird conservation: Bird Conservation