I know this is a bit of a departure, but I've decided I'm going to use this blog in two ways: 1) To talk about all things music, and 2) To relate the stories of people whose actions and character inspire me. In this installment I'd like to explore the phenomenon of staying calm in the midst of a crisis. Recently a new story highlighted this phenomenon. It was about Antoinette Tuff, a school clerk in Georgia. A typical day took a sudden terrible turn when Antoinette was  confronted by an armed gunman. Instead of losing her head and panicking somehow Antoinette shifted into nurturing mode and was able to speak calmly and compassionately to the young gunman, eventually persuading him to put down his weapon and turn himself in.

Why is it that some people grow larger in these circumstances while others seem to shrink? And I often wonder what my response would be. Would I be a warrior or a wimp? As much as I would want to rise to the occasion it seems as though no one can really predict, or consciously control how they will react. I have such admiration for those who find themselves in harrowing circumstances and respond with courage and confidence. Instead of turning jumbled their thoughts seem to become clearer, their words more focused and effective. I have heard those in such situations say that everything slows down for them and each decision seems to present itself as an inevitability. How lucky are those that survive these ordeals to find such bravery living inside. It must forever change the way they see themselves. I wonder if the trauma of witnessing such horrors is overshadowed by the new-found courage, or is the emotional devastation too overwhelming to allow someone to appreciate and acknowledge their admirable performance in the most difficult of tests? Let this be an opportunity to celebrate human courage and bravery wherever it be found. I would encourage you to  take a moment when you have a chance to think about a time when you discovered bravery within, or when you were touched by the bravery of someone else.