An 8 feet tall x 20 feet wide chalkboard has been hand-created by local business leader, Nancy Belmont on the 2200 block of Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia. At the top of the board reads the statement, “I Wish I Had The Courage To…” with blank lines below for passersby to fill-in.
Asked why build the wall, Belmont, a life coach, answers directly on her website, “Pretty much every transformational coaching session boils down to this: naming a fear and declaring a courageous action to overcome it. For many, the fear lies under the surface. It’s not even on the radar that the force of fear is at play. But digging deeper, it is usually at the root of feeling trapped, unhappy and powerless. Fear is underneath the stress that makes us eat too much, drives us to fill every waking moment with noise and robs us of being our best selves.”
The board was unveiled May 7, and the blanks following, “I wish I had the courage to:” are already filled with things like, “go get that job,” tell my husband it is over,” “ sneak a cat into my apartment building,” and “ride a two-wheeler.”
As Nelson Mandela put it, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”