White-crowned Sparrow, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Ordinary Courage

What is ordinary courage?


White-crowned Sparrow, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in Blog Post "Ordinary Courage"

White-crowned Sparrow


It seemed like a good idea.

Sea & Sage, my local Audubon Chapter, was holding a gathering of bird photographers.

According to the e-mail, each photographer could bring 20 photos that would be shown to 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.

Oh my.

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:

Ordinary Courage

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.


Much success,

Steve Kaye

By the way, there’s a better photo of a White-Crowned Sparrow in this post: Song of Courage


Did You Know?

The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.

Please visit the web site for The Trust for Public Land to learn about what they’re doing.


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2 Comments
  • Eileen Brownell
    Posted at 08:31h, 06 April

    Steve….
    I love how you weave a story that makes an incredible point. Thank you for sharing your photos and most importantly you.
    Blessings….Eileen

  • Tice Supplee
    Posted at 13:40h, 06 April

    I really enjoyed the sentiment about ordinary courage and the poem with the white-crowned sparrow. Thanks for an uplifting message!

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