There’s a story that when the Victoria Cross was originated, the Queen looked at the design which said ‘For Bravery’. ‘Oh no’, she said, ‘All my soldiers are brave.’ And so, for valour.
The dictionary defines valour as ‘great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle’.
I see my depression as a battle, continuous and one that I have to win, but still, a battle. I fight my depression hard. I want it to be over quick and will probably push myself just a little too hard and be just a little too hard on myself on not being well soon.
Is this a bad thing?
There are two schools of thought. I had two friends who had multiple sclerosis. They had different doctors and different advice on dealing with it. One was told to live as she was doing before, do what she wanted and live her life. The other was instructed to take it easy, to take breaks, to rest and give up work.
The latter passed on in five years, the former, whilst now very frail, is with us thirty years later.
I am not saying that there is equality between the two, I don’t know how advanced the condition was in each. I am, however, reminded of two quotes. One from a movie and one from a Saint.
‘Get busy livin’ or get busy dying.’ Red in Shawshank Redemption.
“If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” St Thomas Aquinas.
In these dark times of political ills, of economic hardship, of personal challenges, what is your view?
I know it’s easier to stay home, to be comfortable, to spend time with the familiar. To get out and see the world is tough and requires fighting off the inner naysayer. It needs bravery in the face of battle. It needs valourous conduct. It’s OK to be comfortable, and I would never criticise for that, but it is a decision to be made. A conscious decision.
What do you prefer?
Me, I’m for livin.
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