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Friday, February 3, 2012

Courage Question of the Day

Here at Lion's Whiskers we are hoping to collect examples of physical courage.  To recap, here's how we define physical courage:

Physical courage is the one type, from the Six Types of Courage, that most people think of first.  It is the type of courage that allows us to risk discomfort, injury, pain or even death—running into burning buildings as a firefighter, facing an enemy on the battlefield, undergoing chemotherapy, climbing a mountain, protecting a child from a dangerous animal.  We are right to be wary of pain: pain tells us where our boundaries and limits are.  However, sometimes there are things more important than pain, and our physical fear becomes a border to be crossed.  Physical fear is often blown entirely out of proportion: pain is often greater in anticipation than in fact, and that dread can become an insurmountable barrier.  Physical courage also involves recognizing that your body is how you participate in the world; keeping it healthy, strong, and resilient prepares you for all kinds of challenges, not just physical ones. 

Do you think it takes more physical courage to climb a mountain or battle an illness? Do you think it takes more courage to learn to sleep in the dark, take your first steps, or try diving off a diving board for the first time?  Do you notice a difference between your son and your daughter, in terms of how they define physical courage and what it looks like in their lives?

Can you remember a time that you or your child had to have physical courage?  Please post your thoughts or stories here. 

We would very much appreciate hearing from you! 








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2 comments:

  1. You pose some interesting questions. I find quite a few variables within your 'physical courage' examples. One variable is time - rushing into a burning building is a split second decision, vs climbing a mountain which obviously takes a long time to plan and execute. Perhaps that split second example is reflective of strong internal morality or courage, but I tend to see those long-haul examples as driven by determination and motivated by goals more than courage.
    Which leads me to a second variable - motivation. Is the courage of a stranger who happens upon a fire and rushes in more or less than that of a parent whose child is inside? What about a firefighter who has done this many times before as his/her job and is outfitted for protection?
    I'm not making light of any of these challenging situations. I just wonder if they can all be classified the same.

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  2. Thanks Jeanne for your thoughtful response to our question(s) about physical courage! It is likely that each person's definition and examples of physical courage may be different. Our focus is to help both parents and their children develop the six types of courage--step by step. We believe that through practice, like the firefighter who has learned to face his/her fear in running into burning buildings, that we can learn to overcome fear and develop courage. In facing situations that require physical courage, we also may develop increased motivation to do so! We will be writing about this type of courage over the coming weeks. Keep reading and posting your comments, we love to hear from you!

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