Courage

Courage
the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.
strength in the face of pain or grief.

One of the most noble traits we collectively aspire to have in society, I challenge you to view it in a slightly different perspective.

It is something that grows. With every step we take out pof our comfort zone it stretches. We exercise it like a muscle. But unlike muscle we rarely see it grow and the way that it changes our lives unless examined regularly. Why? I think partly because of we mistake it for other things. Purely down to confidence or stupidity (or at least I do) but rarely do we look back at our own actions and say ” I was courageous.” In order to grow more I think it is important to recognise courage within ourselves.

Courage is 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.

Nelson Mandela

One of my favourite quotes- It is continuing on despite anxiety/nervousness/depression/ that makes us strong and courageous. Yet despite this view, in society we still don’t admit that we are scared and that some failure/rejection/disappointment  is inevitable. Our society seems to focus on avoiding all that to spare yourself the pain and trouble. We need to stop doing that. Protecting ourselves because we are afraid to the point where we rarely leave our comfort zone and so we rarely grow. To the point where we wonder why no one wants to indulge in our pity party with us and longingly admire those who seem so effortlessly courageous.

Courage takes guts. And sometimes it’s easiest to forget all complications and put it in black and white. This is what I want to do but am afraid. So I will do it.

Society has us view courage as this elusive esoteric thing that only the noble among us will ever posses whilst contrastingly presenting it as something a handful of ordinary people can have. No one can make you courageous. The level of personal awareness that it takes makes me think courage is one of the most hardest yet fulfilling traits to continually pursue.

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.

-Aristotle

I agree. Our lives are full of so much change and daily pain, frustration and strife that it takes a little courage to get up each morning and brave that world. We all have the seeds of that daily courage. The Christian idea of ‘taking up your cross’ and trying every day because it is not futile but you will be reward. We should view courage more as mini battles rather than one great act of kindness.

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential.”

-Mary Angelou

This quote is very sharp in capturing the idea that noble virtues are things that grow and change with us. So when we look at others’ courage in admiration we shouldn’t doubt our own because you cannot compare your beginning with someone else’s middle. Everyone has the potential within themselves to be courageous; we just need to find, unlock and grow it. We can and should be inspired to be as courageous but do so in our own way; have that inspiration change us in lots of small ways that will amount to changing a big part of you.

It is important to recognise courage in others so we are inspired and reassured that nobility exists amongst ordinary people. But more importantly appreciate it in ourselves in hope that it will drive us to be the most we can be.

 

 

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