I will admit it: Motivation was harder to find this week.
But I woke up this morning, saw the news, and now my heart hurts for Bamako, Mali.
So many places affected by such senseless violence. And I thought: What inspiration could I possibly offer when so many people are feeling such grief and fear?
My thoughts went to the first Inaugural Address by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
And to the “Freedom From Fear” speech by Aung San Suu Kyi:
Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavor, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one’s actions, courage that could be described as ‘grace under pressure’–grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.
Enrich your intellect and spirit by reading her full speech.
These speeches–from two different people, times and places–remind us that periods of great trial are nothing new. They also remind us to not give in to the grief and fear we rightly feel.
Read or watch the speeches. Heed the advice for the days, weeks and months to come.
Last night, I watched a segment on Aung San Suu Kyi on 60 Minutes. She seems to personify “grace under pressure.” She is straightforward, not a firebrand.
But she has a spine of steel. The words “determination” and “resolve” somehow seem inadequate.
I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly brave–I used to be frightened of the dark when I was small. And I’m not very good with dead rats and things like that. But I face what has to be faced and I hope as best as I’m able. –Aung San Suu Kyi (Emphasis mine.)
After all, she endured for nearly two decades as a political prisoner under house arrest. Indeed, it took years to accept in person the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her in 1991.
She will need to keep counting on that determination and resolve as her country faces serious challenges: upcoming elections, treatment of the Rohingya minority, poverty.
Most of us will not bear the burden of responsible national leadership, yet we have obstacles to overcome all the same.
This week, let’s find the courage to face whatever challenges us in life, and do so as best we are able. And know that we can do it.
As I often say from the saddle in the cycle classes I lead, “We got this!”