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Courage in a Time of Uncertainty

David Racine, Dean of Students

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.
―Maya Angelou

This is the first in a series on how the School’s core values—Courage, Open-mindedness, Self-Reliance, Curiosity and Compassion—can help guide us during these times.

Where there is fear, there is courage. Many of us understand the word courage to mean having the ability to do something that we fear, or possessing strength in the face of pain or grief. However, the Old French origin translates to “heart, as the seat of emotion” or “heart, innermost feelings; temper.” With the challenges our world is facing, I ask you to listen to your hearts and to have the courage to examine and face your fears.

Living in a world of uncertainty may cause fear for many of you. The ways in which the world, governments, and local organizations are responding to the COVID-19 crisis are ever-changing. No one is immune to the impacts of this virus, and no one knows with certainty its depth. Many of you are experiencing these impacts, whether small or large and have found ways to cope and manage these challenges. During these times, your role in your families, with your friends, and as global citizens is essential. Fountain Valley School has a clear purpose. We seek to help you develop into intelligent and responsible global citizens while focusing on the core values of self-reliance, compassion, curiosity, open-mindedness, and courage. As you navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 has presented us with, have the courage and heart to focus on yourselves, your families, and your communities. For without courage, “you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

Courage is a glorified virtue that we read about in history books and the classics. However, courage is often demonstrated in our daily interactions. Now is a time when the little acts of courage matter the most. Here are a few ways in which you can demonstrate your courage.

Have the courage to…
  • Call a family member, friend, or teacher to reconnect.
  • Embrace the upcoming virtual learning experience.
  • Ask for help and to offer help.
  • Ask difficult questions.
  • Be a responsible citizen by staying home and practicing social distancing.
  • Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Be patient with yourself and others around you.
  • Try something new.
  • Unplug when you have a chance.
  • Stay informed with what is going on around the world and locally.
  • Do what is right despite the shortcuts and temptations.
  • Choose to have a good attitude each day.
  • Be vulnerable and share your fears.
  • Lead.

Courage does not just come from leaders. As J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Courage is found in unlikely places.” As we all struggle with the uncertainty of the future and this virus, we need to rely on our core values and each other. To get through any challenge of this degree requires everyone to demonstrate courage. I am confident all of you have it in your hearts, which will make for a successful finish to the school year and one that we will always remember as a point of pride in our memories of Fountain Valley School.
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