Making Commitments of Love and Courage
By Steve Brunkhorst
There is a story about a little girl who suffered from a serious disease. Her best chance of recovery would be to receive a blood transfusion from her five-year old brother.
The doctor explained the situation to the little brother. He asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.
The young boy hesitated for a brief moment. Then he took a deep breath and said, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save my sister's life."
During the transfusion, the boy lay in the bed next to his sister. He smiled when he saw color returning to her cheeks. Then his smile started to fade, and his face grew pale.
With a trembling voice, he looked up at the doctor and asked, "Will I start to die now already?"
The little boy had misunderstood the doctor's explanation. He thought that he would need to give all of his blood to save his sister, and he would have done so.
Moving from Resolution to Commitment
The realization of our goals, dreams, and deepest desires depends greatly on commitment, stepping from the familiar into the new. It requires putting our faith on the line to honor our purpose, our personal contract with life. We make resolutions and carry them with us until we commit firmly. Once we commit and begin taking the necessary actions, resolutions become unnecessary.
Without commitment, we remain chained to resolutions and visions, living perpetually beyond the present moment. Though we need to envision with gratitude our goals and their attainment, it is now we must take action. Only in the present moment will we realize the soul's tremendous courage to follow our own true north -- to manifest the reason we are alive.
The Courage to Serve
Rollo May wrote, "The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary...But a man or woman becomes fully human only by his or her choices and his or her commitment to them. People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions they make from day to day. These decisions require courage."
Commitment is the beginning of service to others. Making a commitment often requires that we release fear. We need to look clearly at things we would rather not see or accept. I believe courage arises ultimately from love. The courage to serve is inspired by the faith to serve not only the self but also all of humankind.
In the words of Henry van Dyke (1852-1933), "Faith is an adventure; it is the courage of the soul to face the unknown. But that courage springs from the hope and confidence of the soul that its adventure will succeed." Faith and commitments to service can inspire the hope and confidence in each other that our human family needs.
An Outpouring of Love and Compassion
Today, we are witnessing a tremendous outpouring of love and compassion for those in Asia who have endured unimaginable, heartbreaking devastation and loss. Tears flow and prayers are spoken for people we have never met.
Commitments to service and selfless acts of love are taking place globally on an unprecedented scale. Even in extreme tragedy, our "courage of the soul" that Henry van Dyke mentioned flourishes around the globe as many nationalities join together to help those in need.
At a human level, we do not understand why we must suffer. We cannot remove the pain or reunite all of the grieving families. Only God will do that. However, our commitments can make life-changing differences.
Commitments that Make a Difference
We must first be acutely aware that we are not guaranteed the next ten minutes on this earth. We can grow in appreciation for the sanctity of life and realize how capable we are of reaching out with empathy and authentic compassion.
We can also commit to honor the worth and dignity of all fellow humans, serving and supporting them in times of need. All of us can serve -- if not with donations, with acts of kindness and prayer. It is a choice we must make for the future of our planet. It is a commitment to serve and be responsible for the welfare of each other.
About The Author
© Copyright 2005 by Steve Brunkhorst. Steve is a professional life success coach, motivational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a popular mini-zine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and personal life.