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Gwinnett County is on the Road to Recovery

Many of us need courage right now to face the unseen and unknown storms, changes and challenges caused by COVID-19. Many of us are also facing other types of challenges that require a courageous response.

Judge Kathy Schrader

A Native American proverb that demonstrates courage is the difference between the Buffalo and the Cow. When cows sense a storm coming, they try to run in the opposite direction.

The only problem is that cows aren’t fast. So, the storm catches up with the cows as they try to outrun the storm. But instead of outrunning the storm they actually run right along with the storm, maximizing the pain, discomfort and frustration they experience from that storm. On the other hand, Buffalo wait for the storm and charge directly into it minimizing the amount of pain and frustration of that storm. What is the difference? The buffalo instinctively have more courage. We can have more courage, too.

What is Courage?

Courage is defined as bravery, valor, bravado, referring to qualities of spirit and conduct.

Courage permits one to face extreme dangers and difficulties without fear.

Bravery implies true courage with daring and an intrepid boldness: bravery in a battle.

Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.

We all have a level of courage; but, whether or not we will demonstrate our courageous nature during or after a crisis is what will be remembered. In her January 24, 2017 article, “The 4 Types of Everyday Courage,” Cathy J. Lassiter explains what different types of courage are and why they are so important. The article is directed to school principals but is applicable to all leaders.

“Everyone is a leader. You are a leader in your home and your business regardless of your title or your position. You may not think of yourself as a leader, but every decision you make impacts you and your family. The distinction is whether you chose to implement your leadership capacity with courage.”

Lassiter challenges all of us to understand that when we act based on her 4 types of everyday courage, i.e. Moral Courage, Intellectual Courage, Disciplined Courage and Empathetic Courage, we have the potential to positively impact everyone we come in contact with. Courage requires intention and discipline. Being courageous is not comfortable. In fact, Lassiter further challenges us that failure to act on what we know is best for those we can impact is the opposite of courage, it is cowardice.

In her March 18, 2019 article, “Choose Courage Over Comfort,” Alma Ohene-Opare contrasts the impacts of decision making through the lens of courage compared to comfort and challenges us all “to name anything worthwhile we have accomplished that came about because of a desire to be comfortable.” Ohene-Opare points out that, “without courage, comfort dwells in mediocrity. It is through courage that we discover our virtue and through perseverance we discover our potential.” COVID-19 has inspired many to make courageous decisions, but it has also paralyzed many with fear and anxiety. Taking small daily steps can help you move out of fear and comfort into courage, contentment and fulfillment.

Everyday courage involves having the determination to make the best decisions in a difficult situation to move toward your ultimate goal. In the current COVID-19 environment, we are all faced with difficult decisions about our health, finances, families, businesses, communities and so much more. In order to promote the best interests of all these decisions, you must choose courage over comfort.

Courage is also the ability to stand in the face of adversity. Courage is the outward expression of a leader’s core values and beliefs. Courage inspires leaders to act on their convictions, not just talk about them.

As your Superior Court Judge for the last 8 years, I have consistently demonstrated courageous leadership by implementing best practices, justice reform, reducing recidivism, improving outcomes for all individuals, and so much more, despite continuous opposition.There have been many unfounded accusations lodged against me over the last year and I am sure these will escalate during this campaign – I am ready, believing that truth and justice will prevail. Be courageous and stand with the Judge who has challenged the status quo in Gwinnett County despite continuous criticism from political enemies, those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Gwinnett County deserves better, and I intend to continue serving with integrity and uplifting our community in every way possible.

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“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

   ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.