I've seen some angry posts on the internet about Caitlyn Jenner. Many of them take issue with the use of the word "courage" to describe Jenner's very public transition. Most of these posts are accompanied by a photo of military personnel with captions stating that their courage is real or true courage.
Courage and heroism are part and parcel of our military. We are blessed to have men and women who stand and fight in our name, protect us and preserve our liberty.
We also see courage in every firefighter who rushes into a burning building and every police officer who confronts a criminal. Their courage is made manifest not just in crisis, but when they first pledge to protect and serve and it is renewed daily when they put the uniform on and walk out the door.
We see courage in children fighting grave illnesses and just as powerfully in their parents who comfort them, care for them, stand vigil by incubators or bedsides and wait painfully long hours in surgical waiting rooms.
We see courage in children and teenagers who do the right thing; who stand up to bullies; who hold on to the moral compass and say no to what would be so much easier to say yes to.
Courage - writ large or writ small - comes in many forms.
Courage, like love, like kindness like compassion, is not finite.
Courage, like pain, need not be compared. What is painful to you may feel as a mere twinge for me. What takes courage for me may be second nature for you.
Bruce Jenner before his surgery; Caitlyn Jenner after her transition did not block out the sun. All the joy, all the pain; all the virtue, all the crime still exists. But there might be someone who has had similar feelings and experiences to what Bruce Jenner lived with for 65 years, whose world got a little brighter. Maybe our generation, like Christine Jorgensen's generation in the 1950s, has their understanding of gender identity and the boundaries of their world view expanded. Perhaps the positive posts about Jenner on Facebook, plus the tweets on Twitter outweighing the negative ones is evidence of our progress.
Then again, as Jon Stewart pointed out, listening to the pundits swiftly pivot to misogynistic objectification of the newly female image of Caitlyn, shows we still have a long way to go...