On May 20, the JFK Library Foundation honored former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with its Profile In Courage Award. Landrieu’s decision to remove four Confederate statues from the city is said to embody President Kennedy’s idea of political courage. In our regular feature, “Hear at the Library,” we asked people what courage means to them.
He had the courage to teach his children that no matter what, they would go to good schools. And in the end, this is why I had such a good life. He had the courage to persevere...Everyday was a lesson.
-Mary Helen Reichardt says her grandfather's ability to persevere through challenging times is what ultimately gave her a better life. Her grandfather died in 1979.
He lives his life. He travels. He always has a smile on his face. And he is one of many I am amazed by ... I think that everyone has a lesson to teach other people. If we sit back and listen, we can learn a lot.
-Diane Charles, a Boston physician, says seeing her patients set goals and fight courageously to reach them inspires her to be at her best for them every day.
I thought, "Is this a crazy thing I'm doing? Are people going to think I'm nuts?" And then when I sent it out, I got all of these wonderful responses from other people in the system.
-Barry Oshry, a self-described student of social systems, told us about a small act of personal courage at the workplace, that helped him turn a tough situation into a teachable moment.
It was always a little terrifying ... But you know what, it's like anything, it takes a lot of work. Even if you have some talent, you still have to work at it, and I'd rather do this going forward.
-Elizabeth Hurlihy, who recently graduated with an MFA from Emerson College, tells us about the personal courage it took for her to make a change mid-career, and follow her dream.
There was this environment of fear that was created by the government over the past decade, but fortunately, the younger generation is no longer afraid to speak and to protest for their rights and bring about better change.
-Tita Gemechu, an expat of Ethiopia, reflects on how the younger Ethiopian generations are now having the courage to stand up to oppressive government of his home country.