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This I Believe (inspired by the NPR podcast) • by Grady Age 9

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

I believe in courage. What I mean by courage is the ability to persevere in the face of difficulty and fear to get the best possible outcome. I have tried to have courage throughout my life. For example, this past year I have been homeschooled. At first, I worried that this was a bad decision because it was out of my comfort zone and I wanted just to go back to public school. But because my experience at public school was not great, I decided that this was going to be the best decision for me in the long run.

It was very hard at first. I had moments when I felt overwhelmed and stressed to the point where I was sobbing. One of these moments was when I had to complete 14 illustrations for my book that I was writing. I felt like every drawing had to be perfect. It got even harder when I started coloring because I would color on the same spot over and over again, spending too much time in one spot, and rushing over others. I spent more time criticizing then drawing, but  knowing that I had a deadline forced me to find the courage to get it done.  When I finished the drawings I was proud but monkeymind told me that I hadn’t done a good enough job. These words made me grab the courage inside of me and get the artwork done, “Monkeymind, be quiet!”  

Monkeymind is a term that comes from meditation because monkeys are busy and distracting, like the thoughts that constantly swim around in my brain. It’s that feeling I get when I finish something and ask myself, “Is this good enough?”      This query can also be helpful. Sometimes he pushes me to do my best, but once I  let him in, monkeymind is very hard to shut down.

I have had to deal with him the past year, and I’ve realized that he is afraid of courage. That’s why I use my most powerful voice to sound more courageous than I am, and tell him to be quiet. He will not go away at first, he will stay until you don’t care about him annoying you anymore. You just have to be patient with him.

Courage is important to me because without it, I wouldn’t be able to stretch my comfort zone and try new things. I believe in courage because it gives people the chance to take that risk and make it life changing.

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