Where There Is Courage There Is Hope
By: Simon Morrell
As I young man I looked everywhere for courage, but could not find it. I was a frightened young chap who dreaded the next day and the beatings it would be bring. The abuse, the spitting and the threats. Fear would escalate into night terrors, my mind racing over the consequences of the next day’s jollies. Any courage I had laughed in my face, disappearing into the dark.
Now and again in those dark hours I would sense a glint of something, a hint of backbone and a chance that I might be determined enough to make my stand. But come sunrise my inner self would mock me; “Who the hell are you to stand up for yourself?”
I hid my fear and cowardly behaviour behind a mask of bungee jumps, para-sailing and trapeze rides. I once hid my fear behind a 60-foot jump from crane to airbag…without a safety cord. Revelling in the applause and approval of a bullying dad, I soaked up the glory knowing deep down this wasn’t courage because the crazy stunts and insane jumps held no fear for me. Things that hold no fear for you do not require courage, just a sense of adventure.
No, the thing that I feared was the physical and emotional abuse I would face, not knowing how to combat it. Years passed and my fear took such a grip that it ate away at me. Leaving my house was the equivalent of fighting 10 men. When I did leave the house I would encounter more things to be fearful of and took more than one beating, an attempted stabbing and threats on my life.
Still I sought out the answers. I came to realise this was no way for a young man to live. I decided to find the motivation it would take for me to gain confidence, to gain courage.
I watched, studied and read the people I admired, people who were achieving their goals and setting examples. I realised that all these people offered one common thing…hope through courage.
Whilst they confessed to feeling fear in competing, writing or speaking in public, their underlying theme was that despite of their fears there is always hope. I arrived at this conclusion with a bucket full of inspiration. It became the fuel for my journey.
I set to the road feeling trepidation, but that same trepidation was stamped out by my newfound four-letter word friend; “hope.” When the path got scary I reminded myself of the reward at the end of whatever battle I faced that day.
As an agoraphobic, the battle would be travelling to a city centre and sitting in the crowds until the panic faded. As a victim of violence it would be to slug it out with professional boxers, and as someone who spoke so badly as a kid that I was sent to elocution lessons, it would be to speak in public, all the while with hope at my side urging me on.
My belief and understanding of hope paid dividends, bringing with it success I could only dream of. A Martial Arts academy, nationwide teaching, writing and selling books worldwide, and later talking with film people about turning my stories into movies, all only achieved with courage.
Leaving my house, fighting monsters, making sacrifices, and writing until my head hurt and my hands ached was not easy.
But if it is worth having, it is difficult. You just have to get off your backsides and try.
Your courage gets you out of the front door; your hope keeps you going in the right direction. Don’t let chances slip you by. Don’t let anyone jump your queue. Work hard, be brave and when you are able to take that job, paint that painting or produce that show, then you have found courage and with it our favorite four-letter word; hope.
Simon is the author of the book From Bullied to Black Belt, a true story. You can visit him at www.simonmorrell.com, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.