Lurking behind the smiles and pleasantries that we mechanically exchange with one another could be the real silent killer. Sure, we’ve all heard the medical reports of hypertension secretly hiding in our bodies wreaking havoc. However, may I submit to you that there is another powerfully destructive force within us that goes unnoticed?

This sneaky culprit goes undetected during annual checkups and during emergency triage intake procedures. When hidden well during conversations, job-related transactions or recreational activities, this terrible ailment can quietly infect its contacted environment with disease. It’s the real silent killer and many of us are unknowing carriers of it.

The real silent killer among us is discouragement. The onslaught of symptoms may begin with the desire to give up or the idea of perceived failure. Whether we struggle with finances, family, friends, frustration or fear, all of us can identify with the effort it takes to keep the fire of hope alive within.

Should the dreams you once had to pursue your passion in education, music, sports or business be mere memories, I encourage you to dream again.

Don’t allow discouragement to silently kill your smile, your dreams, your vision, your goals, and your relationships. As long as there is breath in your body, there is still time to bring to fruition all that is in your heart to do. So, please, don’t give up.

Courtney Brown

third-grade teacher

Baton Rouge