What is Courage?
Courage can be defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.
A list of synonyms for courage would include bravery, mettle, determination, and grit.
I don’t recall whether I read this or heard a similar quote, so I cannot take credit. But a phrase I’ve often said is, “It takes great strength to do it alone, it takes courage to ask for help.” This sentiment is echoed in many descriptions or narratives of courage. In a blog post from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, there are five ways to show courage. These five strategies include facing difficulties head-on, challenging the status quo, standing up for your values and beliefs, doing the right thing, and asking for help.
Courage may be a difficult word to accurately define. And how do you teach courage? How do you build or develop courage within yourself or for your loved ones? Is courage the same as self-esteem? In an article from Advanced Phycology, there are several ways to help teach your child to develop courage. In my humble opinion, these approaches can be applied to yourself as an adult as well. To paraphrase, these methods include understanding bravery and courage, stepping outside your comfort zone, making decisions, positive affirmations, and not giving up too soon.
There may be several types of courage. Lion’s Whiskers is a blog that outlines six types of courage. The list of six includes physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, and moral. Physical courage may be most common, it is bravery at the risk of physical pain or bodily harm. Emotional courage would be a risk of facing negative emotions in a given situation. Spiritual courage deals with purpose and meaning. Intellectual courage refers to our willingness to challenge ideas or make mistakes. Social courage is the risk of social embarrassment. Moral courage is doing the right thing when we may place ourselves in opposition or disapproval of others.
I encourage you to take some time to ponder and contemplate the word of the day. In my Words to Contemplate posts, I close with quotes that may help you find the mindset to ruminate. Today, I add a poem to get you thinking about courage.
Peace, Love & Courage
It Takes Courage
It takes strength to be firm, it takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer, it takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain, it takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in, it takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain, it takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse, it takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone, it takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love, it takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive, it takes courage to live.
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.”
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
~Vincent Van Gogh