No guts, no glory. But really, who cares about the glory? I don't. Having the guts and inner fortitude to do, say, act upon something reinforces that I've accomplished something. Taking a step, speaking a word, or following a path that many others were too fearful to tread upon is what matters most to me. Being authentic and genuine is the best gift I can give to others, as well as to myself.
We all have stories to tell about things that have happened in our past, things that have cemented who we are and why we say or do things the way we do. There is no competition with anyone else, because there is nobody else like you -- period.
Will you speak your mind, or remain silent?
Will you explore, or remain satisfied by what others tell you?
Will you ask challenging questions, or will you remain cozy in the downy comfort of stories (and lies) you have been told?
Will you grow a metaphorical spine, or will you remain spineless?
Will you put your thoughts out there (even if they shock or repel), or will you stay silent, muted, and loyal to the status quo?
The choices are up to you. You came into this world alone, and you will leave alone. What you do in between is, ultimately, in your hands.
It is a harsh truth, and one I'm still learning. But at some point you must leave the shadows and gaze at the bright, piercing sun -- even if it hurts your eyes, or your soul.
What will you do, or what will you not do?