“I learned that courage was 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
What is Courage?
The Merriam Dictionary defines it as:
“The ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous. Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
It is one thing to define the word, it is another to translate it and breathe life into it! Courage can be seen in actions, words, pictures, thoughts, feelings, acts of gratitude, forgiveness, kindness, selflessness and love, it is seen in nature, technology, it is ever-present in our lives…. but if we don’t recognize it, how can it be properly appreciated and utilized?
Courage has been a coveted virtue since the dawn of time. Those that demonstrated this virtue were revered as fearless and brave. They were sought out by tribes, monarchies and the military to take on the difficult battles and challenges. It is a virtue not just seen for the physical battles but the intellectual, humanitarian, political, religious, and social missions as well. Courage is an attribute that almost everyone, man or woman, young or old, possesses. But some choose not to use it other than for survival. It is an attribute that may very well be on the endangered list—judging by the way we live today. Progress is good, but it is important to have the ability to stop and ask, “Why?” or “Is this the best way to handle this?” or “Is there someone else that can do this job in a better way?” To be able to ask the questions no one wants to ask because they fear the answer… that takes strength and leadership. To be able to say what needs to be said, knowing that it isn’t the most popular answer or suggestion, but it follows the path to a higher goal… that takes bravery. To be able to take the first step toward any goal that is new, different or challenging in the effort for self-improvement… that takes fearlessness. To risk one’s own life in the effort to make the lives of others better… that requires the ultimate sacrifice and courage!
Courage exists today all around us, in little doses never spoken about and perhaps not even seen. It exists in large doses that make everyone notice, maybe talk about for a day or two, but is quickly forgotten. It is a characteristic that resides in ALL of us… we all have the qi power within us to take on the challenge… to persist through the event, whatever it might be… and to ultimately persevere!