Counting Coup

The First Nation warriors of the American Plains would gather around campfires and recount their acts of bravery. The stories were told by both the warrior who acted and by other members of the Tribe who noticed the act and honored their fellow warrior for his courage and fighting prowess. Somewhere between Sigmund Freud and Dr. Phil our ego lost not only the permission but the art of retelling of our acts of courage. Sometimes the Indian warrior was also wounded in the battle, and that wounding was also acknowledged as an act of bravery because if he had not had the courage to do battle he would have safely been uninjured. We are strengthened in the retelling of our efforts, even if they cannot all be counted as a total “win” for the day. In truth, we showed up, we taunted the challenger, we gained some ground, we grew in awareness, knowledge and courage. Do we have the courage to make this the week we “count coup” with our co-workers, friends and family? Are we brave enough to say, “Hey – let me tell you what I wrestled with today. I’m not sure I won but by golly I didn’t back down!” The badge of remembrance we wear of our highest moments provides the armor for the future foes.

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