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Showing posts with label courage is a choice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label courage is a choice. Show all posts

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mental Pathways of 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
I’ve defined the word courage with a dictionary, and with the help of my kids, so now I ask myself: “What does courage mean to me?”  “Do I have courage?” “When have I been courageous in my life?”

I read Jennifer’s retelling of The Lion’s Whiskers, and reflect on the times when I’ve had to approach my own inner and outer lions to gain the necessary whiskers, or qualities, to develop the love and respect for myself, my children, my husband, and all who cross my path.  Whiskers I cling to for balance and guidance, qualities that help me to be brave during times of fear, pain, or uncertainty.  I think of the times I’ve succeeded, and the times I’ve failed, in attaining the kind of intellectual, social, physical, spiritual, emotional and moral strength necessary to be deemed “courageous”. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Getting to the Heart of Courage

The Merriam Webster (2010) dictionary defines courage as follows:  “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/courage, ¶1).  It comes from the Middle English corage, from Anglo-French curage, from quer, coer, and from the Latin word cor (¶3). All essentially variations of the origin, ‘heart’: to have heart, to take heart, to be brave of heart.

Since my kids are some of the wisest people I know, and I’m curious what they may have already learned about courage in their lives, I ask them to define courage in their own words.  My teenage son tolerates the interrogation, even taking a moment from his iPod to answer “Courage is: even when the odds are against you, you are able to overcome them to do something brave.  It’s not just trying to overcome.  It is doing something great.  Like in World War II, the American soldiers crashing onto the beaches in the Pacific—against all odds—fighting with all they had…that’s courage”.  We’d just finished a marathon session watching the HBO miniseries The Pacific, so this kind of courage-in-action is fresh in his mind.  My 10-year old daughter on the other hand, mulls over my question—her mind wandering the clouds overhead outside the backseat car window—whilst I wait patiently for her response.  “Courage is being brave even when you are afraid.  It is standing up for what you believe in or for someone you believe in.  Even if you know others maybe won’t like it.”