Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Courage and convictions

We saw 300 today -- a movie I was a little leery about seeing. It's filmed using very grainy film -- either that, or it's been added as an effect. The lighting is heavily red/black/sepia-toned, the shots unique, the effects interesting. It's done in the style, I'm told, of a graphic novel -- and the story is based on such a work.

It's an epic film, joining others such as Troy, Gladiator, Ben Hur and the like, dramatizing an historic event. And it is a story of remarkable courage and conviction -- albeit quite bloody -- but then, courage and conviction in the face of unreasonable demands and actions will draw blood somewhere, seen or unseen. It reminded me a little of Masada, the epic miniseries of 1981 that also portrayed deep conviction and courage.

It was sobering, too. It made me think of our present day situation in the Middle East where young (and some not so young) men and women act with courage and conviction -- and even if they have doubts about the wisdom of their leaders in fighting this war, simply to follow orders is a courageous act.

Courage is defined as "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty." And the etymology stems from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

Courage, then, is strength from the heart.

I think courage is a gift from the universe that enables us to do what we MUST do even when reason says we can't/shouldn't/don't want to. (There are some days when getting out of bed to face the day takes courage -- not anymore for me, but I've had a few like that in the past. ) I honor that --

I am grateful for the gift of courage that landed me in California. I'm grateful for the gift of courage that brought us to Red Bluff.

I recommend the movie.

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