Courage Socks

I like comics. I look at a couple dozen almost every day at But, there’s only one particular strip I have printed out and keep on my wall at work. It’s by Rick Detorie, and the strip is called, “One Big Happy.” It’s about, duh, a family, consisting of a mom and dad, his parents who live next door, and the children; Joe and Ruthie. It’s mostly about Ruthie, who appears to be in kindergarten or first grade.

In this particular strip from several years ago, Ruthie and her grandpa are walking down the sidewalk. She tells him she has her “courage socks” on today, and that they make her fearless, unhurtable, and able to do anything. She then mentions that she also has on her special underpants in case the socks don’t work. Her grandpa asks if they are courage underpants, to which she says, “No. Waterproof.”

I don’t know what it is about that strip. I laughed the first time I read it, but like so much humor in life, I realized that there was something a little deeper in that particular day’s strip.

When we’re little kids, we’re expected to be afraid of things. Monsters under the bed, creaking noises at night, math teachers…

As we get older, we’re expected to just handle whatever comes along, and yet the things grownups are confronted with are much scarier than monsters. How about the fear of our own mortality for starters, added to the newspaper headlines and the people on Jerry Springer. I mean, those things are scary!

So, we may get up each day and get dressed, ready to face the world, but there are days that our “Courage Socks” just may not be enough. Whether it’s wondering about your job security (or if it wasn’t so good, finding a new job), or realizing that everything you eat or drink is causing you cancer or heart disease, it’s a scary world.

I would venture to say that virtually 100% of adults who pay attention have had a moment in the past year when whomever was President of the United States at the time did or said something that scared them half to death. Or, when we learned that Congress voted for the “Stimulus” bill without a single human being having read it, well, that was “special underpants” scary.

Wearing “Courage Socks” and “Special Underpants” can be a big help, but the famous Serenity Prayer may be the best thing to keep in mind as we navigate difficult waters. After all, sometimes we have to accept things we can’t change. Sometimes we need to change things that we can’t accept, but we always need to have the ability to distinguish between the two.

And, it wouldn’t hurt to buy stock in the company that makes “Depends.”


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