Gigster Insight – A Little Courage Can Go Far


One of our family’s favorite movies is We Bought a Zoo. As a matter of fact, we own it and we’ve seen it more times than I can remember. It is the story of Benjamin Mee, a widower who was looking for a change for him and is children after his wife died of a long illness. This level of loss can be devastating and debilitating for anyone, but if you also need to stay strong for your children, well…you can only image how difficult it was for Ben.

During one of the scenes, Ben is speaking with his son, Dylan, who was having trouble fitting in to the new environment. The boy had developed a crush on a young lady who worked at the Zoo. His dad noticed the blossoming relationship, but also realized his son was afraid to do anything because of a mix of normal teenage angst and real fear of rejection. In one infamous scene, Ben and Dylan are talking about life when Ben tells his son that sometimes “12 seconds of courage” can change your life. He retold the story of how he met Dylan’s mom, and after realizing she was the woman of his dreams, he had 12 seconds to do something. Luckily, he did and the rest is history.

We sometimes think that we do not have the courage to change anything significant in the world. We see so much suffering, destruction, and injustice that we struggle to find where do we begin to impact change. Well, sometimes it takes 12 seconds of courage. In those 12 seconds, you can:

  • Donate to your favorite cause

  • Post a response on a social media page that helps a struggling friend

  • Smile at someone on the street when you walk by, or are stopped at the light

  • Stand next to a person who is being bullied so that they know they are not alone

  • Reach out your hand to someone on the bus or train who is obviously distraught and touch their shoulder so that they don’t feel so alone in the world.

The Important thing to remember is that an act of courage doesn’t have to be grand for it to change the world for someone else. It all depends on how you define the world. As Collegiate Gigsters we have a tendency to think that we either have to “Go Big or Go Home”. Well, human beings have complex lives that require us to meet them at different levels. All acts of courage have the potential to change history. I challenge you to be bold…for just a few seconds. Share with me what happened after your 12 seconds of courage.

This article also appears in a newsletter published monthly called The Gigster 'Zine! that is a production of the Colégas Group. Please visit the website to learn more, sign up for the newsletter, and for finding innovative employment opportunities.

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