I am thankful for audacity.
Five years ago I announced publicly that I was on the road to audacity. It’s been a road of ups and downs. I still think audacity is in the eyes of the beholder and when I look in the mirror, I sometimes see a bashful sheep instead of the mighty goat that I was meant to be.
Last month I announced my intent to devote 26 hours to a special writing project as part of a 26 hour marathon that I created. I kept what my project was under wraps in case it died a death after the fourth or fifth hour. I’m here to announce that it didn’t die, although it was close at times. The writing project’s name is The ABCs of Surviving the COVID Crisis or Any Other Crisis You Might Face. What you’ll probably see over the next few weeks/months are some samples of this project. Here’s the first piece in this series:
A is for Audacity To Survive A Crisis
To survive a crisis like we’re in now, I believe you must have audacity. And boy, I must have some audacity. What right do I have to give advice on how to survive a crisis? I mean, I have enough trouble making most goals. I have tried to lose weight, have a neater house, make more money, lead the church, write lots of books, be less judgmental and more loving…you name it, I’ve said I would do it and then….
Nothing…at least in my mind.
Yet now I am going to act like I know what I am talking about. And I don’t really mean surviving…I want to say thriving…growing…becoming a bad ass…So if nothing else, if I’m going to do it, I’ve got to have audacity.
Here’s the definition of audacity:
1. a willingness to take bold risks:”her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency”synonyms boldness, daring, fearlessness intrepidity …
2. rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence:”she had the audacity to pick up the receiver and ask me to hang up”
Now isn’t audacity an interesting word? I want to use the first definition although I’m known for doing the second at times. I want to be bold but not stupid like people who gather at motorcycle rallies or speedways without masks which might fit the second definition. I have no intention of putting myself at risk or others, but I don’t intend to just hunker down and watch Netflix or bake or eat six cookies which I did before starting this blog a month ago. There has to be more to life even during the Corona virus than the first three. I am going to audacious by starting projects which I don’t know how to do. I am going to be audacious by admitting that I am wrong.
Am I going to be impudent? Perhaps impudence is in the eye of the beholder. I hope to the people who mean the most to me that I’m not.
Now one of the things I did once was start a blog series about doing an audacious act once a month. That lasted about two months. But the beauty of being audacious, I think is being brave enough to start again. I’m going to try to do an audacious act every month again.
I’m not going to say I am going to be audacious and forget about my mistakes, but I am going to be audacious, admit my mistakes and LEARN FROM THEM. I may make them again or I may make new ones. By writing about surviving a crisis, I think it will help to survive a crisis.
I’m borrowing the title and theme of a good President’s book The Audacity of Hope. I have the hope that I can do the things I set out to do. I have audacity to think that I have the skills, the guts, the experience or the creativity to make things happen. I have the audacity to believe that this old dog can learn new tricks. Most important, I have the audacity to try. I hope that my being audacious will encourage others in this country to be audacious as well.
To survive right now through the crisis we’re in, thanks to the corona virus, we have to learn new tricks. We have to learn how to make a vaccine; how to change bad habits; how to change our way of doing things. My belief is that if Barack Obama could be elected president, I can figure out how to do credit card transactions. If Greta Thornburg could row across the ocean and change how we think about climate, I can write and market at the same time. (Without too much whining.)
My belief in audacity is that we don’t come up with new musicals by going with the old formula. We don’t make new friends by staying in our comfort zone and not talking to the black man next door…socially distanced of course.
And sometimes, we may need to be rude or perceived as being rude by some. To a person standing too close to us. To the president in the case of a reporter, a fellow Republican, a staff worker who calls a president out just like the kid who told the emperor he wasn’t wearing clothes.
To the health professionals and the educators, thank you for being audacious in going to work or working under different situations. To the people on the protest line, thank you. To all the people who make change, thank you for being audacious. For more Republicans to be like Mitt Romney and tell the president he’s wrong. To be like John Lewis and not go to the inauguration of a dangerous president.
To be honest (though you probably knew it already), I won’t be the one to find a vaccine. But I can stand behind the ones who are the experts and heed their recommendations. I can shoot down the false accusations. I can vote for people who will put health issues at the forefront. I can help those who can’t get to the polls to get there or at least their ballots dropped off.
And what it comes down to with what we’re dealing with in 2020, I hope that I have the audacity of hope that Obama expressed so well.
Hope — Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us…A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead. Barack Obama 2004 Address to National Convention.
I plan to use this gift. It’s my first step in getting through a crisis. And hope that perhaps some of you will explore being audacious.
If you’re game, go out on a limb this week and commit an audacious act. Remember audacity may be in the eye of the beholder. Your friends/family may not recognize it as an audacious act, but try it anyway.