Courage

Originally written in September 2011

I think that many of my favorite people also happen to be courageous (or is it that they are brave?

You know, if you look both words up in the dictionary you get a lot of the same words to clarify the meanings. BRAVE is described as having or displaying courage, resolution, or daring. Words like determination, enterprise, resolution, endurance, fortitude, audacity, backbone are used to describe COURAGE.

There is a little bit of a difference in the tenor of the definition.

Courage seems to be a quality that is a response to an internal fear or threat. Bravery on the other hand feels to me, like a response to an external threat.

For example, if I and perhaps only I fear something then it would take courage for me to face that fear. On the other hand, if the threat is a universal threat, then perhaps the word to describe facing that threat might be bravery.

Does that make sense?

So then, if courage is a personal, mental state of being, aren’t we all just like the cowardly lion of the famed movie, Wizard of Oz? Aren’t we all a little cowardly because of our own doubts and not because of some real threat to us?

I don’t consider myself cowardly, but lately, I have experienced a great deal of self doubt. There is so much change going on in my life that I have begun to worry and question myself. Not usually my problem, but now certainly a pain in my psyche.

I know without a single doubt that if there were some emergency or situation that required action, I would jump right in and take care of business (been there, done that). So I’m positive, that I can be brave.

But can I be courageous? Can I overcome my self doubts to allow my own inner strength to shine through?

I admire those who despite their inner turmoil rise above it all to succeed. There are people that overcome illness, disaster, unemployment, loneliness, bigotry, etc., etc.

I admire those who refuse to listen to the voice of doubt and uncertainty.

I admire those ask for help from God and then listen for the response.

I admire those who unlike the cowardly lion, don’t wait for external validation to feel powerful and worthy, but instead dig deep to find strength.

There are many, many people in my life that I admire for these reasons. I just wanted you all to know, that I know.

Thanks for being my friends.

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About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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