If you ask a child what courage looks like; you may be surprised at some of the answers. Younger children may offer examples such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Older children may suggest famous TV characters, musicians, sports figures, or action movie stars. In both cases, these responses are not out of the ordinary. They all fall into categories where it would not be surprising to find many of their peers agreeing with these choices. It’s easy to side with family and friends about different subjects; especially when very young. But what happens when a stand is taken for or against something and you find yourself standing alone? Do you “go along to get along?” Or do you hold on to your convictions at the risk of separating yourself from friends or a familiar group?
For children who may have observed acts of bullying or the intimidation of another child and knows the behavior is wrong and unacceptable; I hold great admiration. These children are examples of what I call courageous. These boys and girls should be commended and celebrated for their maturity and independent thinking. Children, who at such a young age have already acquired an innate sense of distinguishing right vs wrong behaviors, must be encouraged. They are true examples of good character to those around them. These are the traits we hope to observe in our future leaders. Showing courage in the face of opposition is not easy. However, kids who are willing to stand up for what is right must be praised as models of courage. It is important for all of us to keep our eyes open so we might see them. And when we find a child doing what is right and good, it is imperative that we remember to support them. For truly, they are the building blocks which will ultimately become part of the foundation for the genuineness and kindness I believe we should all expect from humanity.
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