Here is a story to remind ourselves of the fears we have and the courage we can have. Share this story with your students and children. After the story are some quotes about courage.
The Strawberry Story
There was a monk who lived in a small village in the jungle with a group of other monks. Each morning this monk would go out into the jungle and gather fruit for the other monks to eat for breakfast. One morning this monk went into the jungle and was beginning to gather fruit when he heard a sound behind him.
He turned around, and saw . . . a tiger.
Not wanting to be breakfast for the tiger, the monk slowly began to creep away. But the tiger saw the movement, looked up, and began to walk towards the monk. The monk began to walk faster, and the tiger began to walk faster. The monk began to run as fast as he could, but the tiger began to run also, easily gaining on the monk. Suddenly the monk burst out of the jungle and found himself standing on the edge of . . . a cliff.
He turned around, and saw the tiger behind him, reaching through the bamboo with his claws. And in this moment the monk decided it was time to take a risk. He saw a vine lying on the edge of the cliff, and he grabbed tight to it with both hands and jumped off the cliff . . . The vine held! And the monk began to climb down the cliff.
He was halfway down the cliff when he heard a sound below. Looking down, he saw . . . a tiger at the bottom of the cliff! The monk said: “Wait a minute. Either that’s the worlds fastest tiger, or . . . ” and he looked up and saw that the tiger at the top of the cliff was still there! Now there was a tiger at both the top of the cliff and the bottom of the cliff!
He clung to the vine, trying to decide what to do. As he was thinking, out of a small hole in the cliff right above where the monk was holding onto the vine, poked the nose of a very tiny mouse. It smelled the vine the monk was clinging to, leaned out, and began to nibble at the vine right above where the monk was holding onto it . . .
In this moment of crisis, the monk saw something. Growing out of a crevice in the cliff right near him was a strawberry plant, and inside of it was the biggest, most luscious strawberry he had ever seen! And this is what the monk did – he reached out, grabbed the strawberry, plucked it, ate it, and . . . here’s the key . . .he ENJOYED it!
Now it happened that just as the mouse finished nibbling through the vine and it fell away, the monk found a tiny ledge to cling to. He held onto it for so long that the tiger at the bottom of the cliff got bored and went away, and the tiger at
the top of the cliff got bored and went away. Very slowly the monk made his way back on up the cliff, through the jungle, and back into his village in time for supper. While they were eating, the monk told the other monks what had happened to him that day. They all smiled and said they were glad that he was safe. The monk thanked them, and then said: “Yes, I too am glad that I am safe. However, you know how we all try to learn something each day?” They all agreed with him.
“Well, I learned something today.” said the monk.
“What did you learn?” they all asked.
“Too often I spend all my time worrying about everything that has happened to me in the past (the tiger at the top of the cliff). And too often I spend too much time worrying about what might happen to me in the future (the tiger at the bottom of the cliff). Or, worst of all, I spend too much time worrying about the nibbling, nagging worries of each and every day (the mouse). And when a true strawberry in my life comes along, I forget to pluck it, eat it, and most of all . . .
“So not only should we wish for many strawberries in our lives, but also the wisdom to know they are there – to pluck them, taste them, and fully enjoy each and every precious moment.”
Courageous: Taking Responsible Risks
“Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.”
“There is a time for daring and a time for caution, and a wise man knows which is called for.”
John Keating, Teacher in Dead Poet’s Society
“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little past them into the impossible.”
“We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.”
John F. Kennedy
“Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”
David Lloyd George
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear.”
William Jennings Bryan
“Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
One must work and dare if one really wants to live
“Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is calculated. Without challenge people cannot reach their higher selves. Only if we are willing to walk over the edge can we become winners.”
The families of the Challenger Space Shuttle Crew
“It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“Looking back on my life, I wish I’d stepped forward and made a fool of myself more often when I was younger? Because when you do, you find out you can do it.”
William Sessions, Former FBI Director
Only when we accept full responsibility for our lives will we have the confidence and courage to risk.”
Stacy Allison, first American woman to climb Mt. Everest
“Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?”
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Robert F. Kennedy
“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.”