Columbus Day is clearly a very controversial holiday:

To paraphrase this article, if Christopher Columbus were alive during this era, he would be charged with crimes against humanity.

That being said, it also cannot be denied that Columbus had to have some degree of boldness, fearlessness and persistence.  It may be difficult to acknowledge these strengths in a person who was capable of creating such suffering because it may feel like naming his positives somehow invalidates his crimes.  We like to call this “all or nothing thinking.”  Regardless, Christopher Columbus was a man who explored a very feared unknown in his day and age, and he certainly challenged the limits.

As I was thinking about this holiday, I was trying to conjure up images of past historical figures who had Columbus’s boldness and fearlessness, yet were also decent human beings.  Sometimes, it’s easier to think about people in our own lives who represent both bravery and kindness.  People in our personal lives who are both fearless yet ethical.

What if we transformed Christopher Columbus day into a day where we think about our own capacity for fearlessness and courage?  What if we had a day when we, for one day, challenged our fears?  A day when we conquered the very things that limit us not due to lack of resources, but due to our fears?  In other words, a day where we could tap into our own inner boldness.

What would this day look like for you?  If we celebrated an “explore your limits” holiday, what kinds of things would you do that you wouldn’t normally do on any other day?

Perhaps, on this one day, a shy person would challenge themselves to talk to as many strangers as possible.

Perhaps someone fearful of rejection by authority figures would challenge themselves to ask for that raise they’ve been longing for.

Perhaps a person afraid of heights would jump out of an airplane.

Perhaps a college student fearful of public speaking would deliberately sign up for a class presentation on this day.

What would you do?  If we had a national holiday like this every year, and you took the challenge on that day, how might this change you?