I’ve often heard the words “fearless” and “courageous” used interchangeably. Recently though, I learned about a significant difference between them and in 2020, it’s giving me a powerful framing for what many of us are experiencing.

Fearless is defined as the absence of fear.
Courageous involves doing something despite feeling fear.

As an example, very young children are often fearless. They may be oblivious of the perils around them. Conversely, when you’re nervous about speaking in front a crowd of your peers and do it anyway, that’s courageous.

Every day of 2020 seems to push us deeper into areas where we need to summon strength that we may not be sure we’ll find. There’s a fear that we may not be able to provide what our students, family, and community need. This is understandable for all the change we’ve experienced.

What we need to remember is that we shouldn’t be fearless about our situations because it can be inauthentic to not acknowledge the concerns around us. Instead, when we push on despite those fears, it shows our courage and provides a source of authentic strength which supports others.

I wish us all courage in the days and months ahead.

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