True Courage by Miz Pink

courage-symbolsDeke posted a bit ago (right here in fact in the post “Taking the leap”) about  the need to kinda surrender oneself to faith. He used an example of leaping out of an airplane (yes with a parachute) and the relative levels of courage involved with the process both for the people who don’t take the leap ultimately and for those who do.

It sparked a couple thoughts. First, I thought it was kinda cool that Deke didn’t suggest that the person who shows up at the airplane and then passes on getting on board to go up and jump was a coward. His points seemed to be relative levels of courage. Those who even show up have some level of courage to get that far, just not enough (or the right kind of courage) to make the leap.

The other thing is got me to thinking about is that fear isn’t the absence of courage and courage isn’t the absence of fear. Alot of people make the mistake of thinking so just like they get it in there craniums that love is the absence of hate or that hate (or even anger) is the absence or lack of enough love.

Before I ramble any more though, a famous quote:

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that something else is more important than fear. – Ambrose Redmoon

I have no idea who Ambrose Redmoon is and don’t really care to find out since the important thing was that he had a cool quote that fits my post today.

Anyhoo here’s the deal:

Courage, real courage, is about making the right choice and putting someone or something ahead of yourself. It has little to do with conquering fear and maybe absolutely nothing to do with it.

People who are scared don’t lack enough courage. They simply have fear that blinds or paralyzes them to better options. People who are brave don’t fight past their fears as much as they simply discover that being afraid can’t be enough to hold them back.

I say this mostly because I want to sound deep…no no, that’s not right (but I HOPE it does). I say this because I think that people sometimes overuse the word courage.

A woman takes on the care of a relative’s child when that relative dies or she goes to school while raising three kids and working three jobs in the absence of a husband and people say, “She’s so brave to do that.”

A man makes a rational business decision to save a company and put it on the right track and people say “That was a courageous move” just because it might piss off some board members and get him yelled at or something or even fired thus allowing him to cash in on his golden parachute.

There are brave people and courageous actions in the world. The two example I gave above are simply people doing the right thing. Something they shouldn’t think twice about doing. Running into a burning building to save someone you don’t know strikes me as courageous. Quitting a job you need badly because it would be morally reprehensible and wrong to keep doing that job may be brave.

I think bravery should be honored. But I don’t think we should roll out praise for courageousness when people are only doing what they should have done in the first place.


9 Responses to “True Courage by Miz Pink”

  1. March 7, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    We will Win
    Why? We’ll tell you why.
    Because we have faith, courage and enthusiasm.
    G-d, thank you for this day.
    Bless our mothers and fathers.
    And help us have, another wonderful day,

    Our families prayer, hope you like it.

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    March 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Nice prayer. Thanks for sharing.

  3. March 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Pink & Blue,
    Entertained by your attitude and intrigued by your opinions (which don’t fit my stereotypes of Christians in many ways), I’ve added you to my blogroll.

  4. 4 Deacon Blue
    March 8, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Look forward to checking out your own blog a bit as I have some time.

  5. 5 societyvs
    March 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Courage needs to be honored – or bravery – because for some – some of the situations you mention may be huge steps for them (which may be small steps for others).

    For example, I am going to Greece this summer (on 3 different plane rides to get there_ – gonna be awesome obviously. However, I have never flown and I have a fear of heights – so getting on a plane is not really the norm for me (I’d almost rather face someone in a knife fight – as crazy as that sounds).

    But I am going to do it (fly that is – not the knife fight) bcause Redmoon is right – some things are greater than fear. In this case, my love for my wife outweighs my fears (of anything). For me, this is a huge step – but one I am going to make because of someone I love.

    I think it is hard to judge courage – you mention the burning building and all that…I have stepped in front of angry crowds to stop people from being stomped (at risk to my own life – sometimes those people were holding weapons) – and yet getting on a plane scared me? One seems courageous (and likely is) – I think the greater courage is doing the thing you fear the most and conquering it – for me that was planes (I fly June 30th)>

  6. 6 Inda Pink
    March 9, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I know all about phobias and such…even got a couple of my own that I wrestle with. I guess maybe I’ve been around too many people throwing around “brave” and “courageous” when it doesn’t seem appropriate. I’m all for recognizing bravery and honoring it but I don’t like to see minor things or exepcted things or “the right things” honored as bravery. Honored, perhaps, in some way, but I think we cheapen something like courage by overusing it like we cheapen the term love by marrying someone on a whim and then breaking up and still calling it “love.”

    Overcoming fears is a powerful and wonderful thing but its not necessarily about bravery. Maybe I’m just looking at it from a different angle but I don’t think it always courage that overcomes fear. Sometimes its persistence, or strenght of will or something else.

    I don’t know just rambling.

  7. March 10, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.

    Mark Twain

  8. 8 Deacon Blue
    March 10, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Good companion quote to the one from Mr. Redmoon.

  9. 9 RaiulBaztepo
    March 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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