I am constantly in awe of the displays of human courage and strength that are ever-present around me. We are all capable of greatness, but it's those who chase their dreams with the passion that can only be found deep within ourselves who truly fulfill their life's purpose.
Take Congresswoman Giffords, for example. What an incredible woman and what an incredible journey she has shared with us! She is amazing and her strength is on display for the whole world to see.
But while amazing, her's is not the only story of courage.
Ross Zimmerman, the father of the slain Giffords' aid Gabe Zimmerman, is putting on Beyond, a community-wide event to commemorate the anniversary of January 8th, celebrate the spirit of togetherness we felt in the days and months afterward, and re-commit ourselves to working together to build a stronger community every day. What an incredible way to celebrate and remember the giving spirit of his son.
My mom taught me the first lesson in strength that I can remember: never give up. "Even if your world is going up in smoke all around you, don't stop moving and you'll eventually make it out of the burning forest."
My sister has battled a lot of devastation in her young life. Yet she has channeled her past pain into motivation to create a flourishing non-profit organization educating students at her school about sexual assault as well as running several other student and professional groups focusing on educating the community about the benefits of caring for your body. Talk about a powerhouse!
Every single American soldier has made the pledge that, should they find themselves in the most difficult of circumstances, they will give their lives to protect the ones they love. I cannot think of a declaration that takes more courage and self-sacrifice.
These acts of others are not easy to comprehend. It's hard to watch the ones you love struggle. But watching them succeed, seeing their strength bubbling up to the surface of their skin, their courage blazing behind their eyes and their faces glowing with self-knowledge, that's a beautiful sight.
I am surrounded by heroes and my heart beats with love for each of them. They give me the strength to pursue my own goals, passions and work. Courage and strength live within each of us and observing those qualities in the ones we love reminds us that greatness lives within us too.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, join me in thanking the heroes who bring us inspiration each day. But don't let your thanks end when the holiday feeling wears off. Appreciate the strength and courage that others bring to your life and remember how much they give up to do so.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!