The nature of courage

When we think of courage, we often have images in our mind of firefighters charging into a burning building, or soldiers fighting on the front line.  We believe that we couldn’t possibly have that kind of courage in ourselves.

Perhaps that is true, and that is one kind of courage.  It’s far from the only type though. Most of us exhibit the most amazing courage each and every day.  It’s by facing those things that we fear most, but doing them regardless that shows true courage.  There are many quotes on the subject but one of my favorites is from Mark Twain:  “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not an absence of fear”.

Often it is the realization that if we do not take that step, do what it is that we are afraid of, that the alternative is worse.  Being stuck in that dead-end job, or in a relationship that is far less than satisfactory.  To go beyond the bounds of the known and to dare the unknown.  To understand this and to act, this is also courage.

And sometimes courage is simply the will to not give up, even though we may fail at something many times.  To persist when others may give up.  As was beautifully stated by Mary Anne Rachmacher, “Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow'”.

Life is for living.


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