“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”
When I was in Junior High, I went to a dance with a few girlfriends. Now I had never been to a dance, and had never danced in front of people before. Also, I was ridiculously shy. So in the gym with my friends, I started to dance. Or so I thought.
Apparently I looked like I was “stepping on hot coals”–or so said a kid to one of my friends, who in her helpfulness passed that tidbit along to me. Suffice to say, that, to refer back to today’s quote, I did NOT learn to dance by dancing. That throw-away comment has been emblazoned upon my psyche for lo, these many years. And I can honestly say that it takes fewer than all my fingers to count the times I’ve danced since then (the dances with kids in my Music Classroom don’t count, and the Theme Park shows don’t count either).
I’m a musician, a singer, a guitar player, for God’s sake! But every time I approach a dance floor, I can hear the long ago judgment in my head. A comment that NO one remembered 2 minutes later but me. I won’t even dance in front of myself. I am an absurdly self-conscious wuss–when it comes to this. And being absurdly self-conscious? Very much a life-wasting characteristic. And wussy-ness? Definitely not Peaceful.