I'm seeing mixed posts on the decision to award the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Brenner instead of Lauren Hill. We can throw in Noah Galloway while we're at it. I knew someone who knew him personally and from what she shared, he is just as deserving. Be disappointed that Hill wasn't chosen but here's the thing - who is to say that her journey was any more requiring of courage than Brenner's? Was Brenner's any more than Galloway's? Or was Galloway's any less than Hill's? By debating the "merits" and how deserving one is it detracts from each journey for what they really are and have been - unique experiences that really cannot be compared.
One of my most favorite TED talks was given by a woman named Ash Beckham. While her focus is on the fact that every one of us is hiding something - we all have something in a closet of some sort, she says something that I feel is important to remember.
"Hard is not relative. Hard is hard. Who can tell me that explaining to someone you've just declared bankruptcy is harder than telling someone you just cheated on them? Who can tell me that his coming out story is harder than telling your five-year-old you're getting a divorce? There is no harder, there is just hard. We need to stop ranking our hard against everyone else's hard to make us feel better or worse about our closets and just commiserate on the fact that we all have hard."
We need to stop ranking the courage of one against the courage of another . Courage is individual. The things in my life that have taken courage are probably much different from what you have needed courage for. My courage isn't any more courageous - it just is what it is.