Heart, Courage, Discipline and Love

​Four years of Latin were an integral part of my high school years. I know I learned more about English through those years than in my English classes. I also learned some discipline – trying to stay one step ahead of Miss Cotton’s keys across the back of my hand if she thought I was slacking. I’d been warned about her – she taught my dad, too.

More than anything, those classes gave me insight into where some of our common words come from. Like the word “courage.” From the Latin root cor, comes the word courage with means – “out of the heart.”  Discipline goes back to Latin too . . .the verb discere – to learn. And it morphed over the years through old English to come to have a meaning of acting in accordance to learned rules.

While it isn’t as easy to trace, the word heart itself also leads you back to the Latin cor. Not so with the word love – which has at its root Germanic languages.

Let’s put them together – because if ever we were in a time where we need heart, courage, discipline and love, it’s now. I believe we are each born as loving human beings and love is a gift we can give or withhold. Other gifts are inherited or learned. Some of us become who we are through the use of our gifts, some through really hard work and often with a little luck as well. Some folks have a bit of all three. No matter how you become who you are, there is a corner of your heart you can always access that will take you back to the innocence of the love you were born with.

There have been a lot of direct messages of love that have come out of this pandemic crisis in the Valley – think of the generosity of neighbor caring for neighbor. The more than $170,000 that has come into the COVID-19 Fund at the Foundation is but one example. That outpouring of caring love is being used for basic human needs (think back to Maslow) for those who are most vulnerable – those who are hungry, those who can’t pay their rent, our front-line medical workers who needed PPE supplies and folks who need mental health care because of the combined stress created by loss of paychecks and at-home isolation.

There are so many more examples. Six hundred individuals volunteered to help with the incident response   – among many activities, they’ve been delivering meals to vulnerable individuals and families. Arts nonprofits have made a mid-course pivot to bring “live” performances into our living rooms through Facebook and Zoom. Our schools are doing double duty as educators and providers of food for those in great need.

Sometimes our brains interfere with a connection to the heart. Sometimes we let anger get in the way of reason. Anger is a choice. Love of humankind is a choice. That’s what the word philanthropy means – love of humankind. Now that we’re on our way to recovery, we need just as much, maybe even more, courage and love and discipline. Staying home was easier when everyone else had to do it. Now it’s a choice – to protect ourselves and to protect others.

We need courage to get us through the economic realities, we need courage to make the right decisions. It’s time to pivot and move on – with grace, courage, love and discipline. All while we continue to help those who need it most.

Remember, as Anthony Poponi will tell you, the beautiful brain chemicals that make you happy are released 7x more for the giver. What a great opportunity today is to be happy and loving.

Donors: CFGV is so very grateful for your outpouring of love. Your gifts are doing the most critical human work. We love your generosity.

Nonprofits: CFGV is here for you as you begin to rebuild your infrastructure and your programs. Call on us – we want to hear from you.

Community: Continue to be there for your neighbors . . . not everyone will have an easy time re-grouping. Keep caring. Keep helping.

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