Just Courage

Just Courage

Many people assume that having courage is a lack of fear. You feel nothing but the adrenaline as you rush into the situation and glide into victory. The truth is, if that really happened, then there was probably no risk involved in the first place.
So what is courage? The great American actor and icon John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared, but saddling up anyway.”
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to take a risk and to overcome it.
There has been a lot of conversation in the public forums and the media on courage. No one can seem to come up with a good description because courage is often used to describe the mundane, for instance whatever a celebrity is doing at the time with their style or social media. To tie courage to such a mediocre circumstance is to diminish it. I do not understand our culture’s embrace of mediocrity when truly courageous acts are happening everywhere.
Along with that, I do believe courage can be found anywhere and at anytime. It is something that transcends socioeconomic conditions, nationality, and personality.
Courage is starting a business in your (or your parents’) garage to see if it takes off. Courage is entering a field you know nothing about, but dare to try it. Courage is daring to put forward a scientific theory when it goes against the norm. Courage is writing a news story that will make the powerful angry. Courage is standing up for religious freedom where it is suppressed. Courage is exploring a new frontier, where no one has even made a trail. Courage is proposing to the one you love, and likewise, courage is saying yes. Courage is going off to war to defend your country’s freedom. Courage is composing music and playing it. Courage is writing a novel and putting it out there to be published.
It is the Cristiadas fighting oppression. It is Nelson Mandela running for president. It is the Civil Rights movement. It is the Tank Man. It is Gandhi standing up for peace. It is taking the first step on the moon. It is painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
I know these are extreme suggestions, but if we look at how the people on this list (and many, many who are not) we can look at are own circumstances with a different and better perspective on being courageous. We can get past our fears and face our situations head on, full force with our heads held high.
Wherever we find examples, let them inspire us to find it in ourselves as we go forward in our lives, taking a stand and moving forward with just courage.

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