Kindness or Courage

Recently, a friend of mine who follows my blog posed a question to me and suggested it might be something I would like to write about.  He was right.  The question was:

“Which is greater—Kindness or Courage”

I’m still not sure that I can answer that definitively, but after considerable thought, I have decided to reprint a poem I wrote some time ago called “Winning” and let you draw your own conclusions.  It goes like this:

He was so excited, he just couldn’t wait
He’d often check the calendar and reconfirm the date
He was a child of struggles, challenged some would say
Mental disabilities his progress would delay

But he was not to be denied, he knew not of defeat
Because Special Olympics allowed him to compete
When the awaited day arrived, devoid of any fears
He happily joined the others, a collection of his peers

I heard the starter call their names and prepare them for their race
He gave a wave and smiled at me, joy written on his face
At last when the gun sounded and left them to their fate
The runners all surged forward with their ungainly gait

As they approached the first turn, he was giving it his all
When quickly, without warning, I saw him trip and fall
My heart I think stopped beating as I saw him start to rise
And I couldn’t keep the tears from welling in my eyes

Then a strange thing happened, two others in the meet
Came back and stopped beside him and helped him to his feet
Together they began to run, well behind the rest
But it didn’t seem to matter, toward the finish line they pressed

And holding hands they finished well behind the winners pace
They didn’t care that they were last, but that they’d run the race
To see the looks upon their faces, to evidence their pride
Not because they’d won or lost, but because they’d tried

Kindness or Courage


About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
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8 Responses to Kindness or Courage

  1. powerful to the point of tears in my eyes – perhaps they are in some circumstances synonyms


  2. quiall says:

    I think to have one you need the other.


  3. I agree with quiall. Nice post.


  4. laurie27wsmith says:

    It’s always in how you play the game Bob. A great poem btw. I saw something similar on the news here a while ago, a runner faltered and another went back and helped her up. Kindness and courage go hand in hand. People with no regard for others rarely put themselves out to help.


  5. Theresa says:

    Beautiful way to illustrate the question. Something like this was in the news just recently, where 2 (female) high school soft ball players carried an injured opponent around the bases for her home run hit. Which is greater – kindness or courage? I think we need both…


  6. Starralee says:

    I think it does take courage to be kind oftentimes–and now I’ll be thinking about this the rest of the day, which is a good thing because I’m not always kind.


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