What is courage? The author of the book Being Mortal writes “Courage is strength in the face of knowledge of what is to be feared or hoped.” James Hollingworth wrote “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” Courage is required to live especially as the old saying goes “life is not for sissies”. Courage is a reality that there is and always will be an unknown facing us which includes and involves fear and hope. It takes courage to seek truth and make attempts in our lives that do not always carry recommendations that are pleasurable or comfortable. It takes courage to bring us face-to-face to reality in truth never imagined. It takes courage to persist and persevere because inertia is saturated with comprehensive familiarity and the rejection of possibilities.
We have all heard the worn-out statement “life is a battle”. It has been repeated so often that it has been turned from a battle cry into humdrum attitude of “so what’s new”. Discouragement motivates this mentality. The apathy of our likes and dislikes has driven many to accept the run-of-the-mill median as good enough. Discouragement is an easy protective shield against alterations. It takes courage to broaden your perception and take the path less traveled knowing the unknown is just around the corner.
Discouragement is ascribed to one’s perceived inadequacy. It grows from the fight that we’re in that ends up not as we predicted. Discouragement inflates each time this happens and we interpret it as: we are substandard; we are inferior; we are deficit which then can become a pattern of setting ourselves up to be struck down. Discouragement is like a gerbil on a hamster wheel. In time, discouragement triggers discouragement so quickly that the initiation of different ideas will get shut out before any discussion gets started.
Courage is begotten through a different approach. Courage is a gathering of sorts. Courage is beyond our comparison of what should be. Courage takes into account our abilities, but more importantly, it banks on our capabilities. Often we use a preset expectation as a gauge for failure. Whether our expectations are disproportionately high or dreadfully low, we attempt to use them for some kind of sorted measurement. Courage is grounded in our willingness to fashion a move forward. Courage is shaped in the unknown and deep desire. Courage will take risks and sacrifices in the application with assurances of something will happen. Courage uses examples of the past that worked and brings them into the present. Courage will make modifications whenever necessary, but accepts results as timeless. Courage takes persistence and open determination to learn in the imagination of possibilities rather than shutdown to expectations and doubt.
Discouragement is common. It can be found without much looking. Courage on the other hand can also be found in the making. Courage is powered by a continuation and tenacity. Courage is open to possibilities that are transparent doorways to opportunities, but is not seen as courageous until it is remembered. Courage is an endurance of the soul. Stuff of courage is to seek of what is feared and what is hoped and then take action in what is true. Stuff of courage is not clear cut therefore courage rests in this challenge. Stuff of courage begins with attempts, willingness to try and try again. Stuff of courage begins with the consequences of risking. Stuff of courage begins with me and you or maybe you and me.