Understanding Courage

Courage: Origin: 1250-1300; from Middle-English — corage. The ability to face adversity, danger or harm squarely. To show heart.

— a person's ability to function despite fear or anxiety. Since fear and anxiety can be caused by internal and external sources, courage cannot be measured by an external situation alone, and social comparisons can be misleading. A person's apparent courage may vary greatly from situation to situation. Even the bravest people have limited endurance for tolerating prolonged exposure to fear or anxiety.
The ASAP Dictionary of Anxiety and Panic Disorders | http://anxiety-panic.com/dictionary/en-dictc.htm

  • Courage is fortitude — mental and emotional strength to face danger or adversity.
  • Courage is firmness — holding strong and secure, stick-to-itiveness.
  • Courage is spirit — strength of character, heart.
  • Courage is determinism — constancy, perseverance.
  • Courage is heroism — gallantry, intrepidly.

Benefits of Courage

  • Courage provides security — an environment of constancy, dependability, reliability.
  • Courage provides enterprise — a drive for adventurous undertakings.
  • Courage provides boldness — a sense of daring determination.
  • Courage provides gallantry — a brave civility.
  • Courage provides mettle — the strength of character to carry on.

Acts of Courage in Everyday Life

  • The Bible — It was Jesus who said that the meek shall inherit the earth, rewarding the obedient and those that develop and live with humility.
  • William Griffith Wilson — Who after being incarcerated for the fourth time at Manhattan's Towns Hospital in 1934, courageously faced his demons and founded Alcoholics Anonymous and the revolutionary 12-step program, the successful remedy for alcoholism which also has been successful with eating disorders, gambling, narcotics, debting, sex addiction and people affected by others' addictions. Aldous Huxley called him "the greatest social architect of our century."
  • Resisting Peer Pressure — No matter what age, there are people who behave courageously by choosing the 'right' thing over the most popular thing to do.
  • Mohandas Gandhi — Who exemplified the courage to live and die for his convictions of freedom and non-violence...
  • Positive Parenting — Find time to do "Hero" work with your children. Help them identify who their heroes are and gain an appreciation for the qualities they see that all their heroes have in common.

Methods for Achieving Courage

  • Rethink Risk — Attitude is everything — people who view risk as something exciting are able to work through fear better and become courageous.
  • Do Something Brave — There is no better way to achieve courage than to face your fear and get to the other side. The benefit: more courage!
  • Get to Know Yourself — Philosophers see courage as a response to internal stimuli. Know what your fears are so you can choose to face them courageously.
  • Strive to be Somebody's Hero — An everyday person that can change the world for the better.
  • Care to Listen — There is a special type of courage in being able to see the value in others without feeling inferior to them.

Golden Mean

Recklessness, Rashness, Heedlessness

Quotes for Courage

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.
- Mary Anne Radmacher -
One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson -
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
- Winston Churchill -
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
- C.S. Lewis -
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
- Franklin P. Jones -

Recommended Reading

Kids With Courage: True Stories About Young People Making a Difference — by Barbara A. Lewis

What an amazing little book! This one has it all — it encourages kids, it teaches them to reach for their dreams and to develop the qualities and virtues to realize their goals. A book that can change the lives of all who read it!

Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World — by Gary A. Haugen

Haugen's book connects the gospel to the world of social justice/injustice and writes a very compelling book about the need for people to never sit by and settle for anything less than justice for everybody.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Its all right to be cautious - but even a turtle never gets anywhere until he sticks his head out. 14,000 Quips & Quotes for Writers & Speakers