Sunday, November 6, 2011


We experience real COURAGE when we Challenge Ourselves Utilize Resources And Get Empowered and this results in the triumph of our self belief over our inhibitions. Of course it is easier said than done partly because any form of courage requires us to overcome our fears but what impedes us most is our lack of self belief that by taking a courageous stand we can have some major bearing on the issues on hand. Another aspect that dampens our courage is our reluctance to commit ourselves and stay the course once we delve into it. Despite these obvious limitations we tend to display courage more often than we give credit to ourselves.

Broadly there are two types of courage we display – physical courage and moral courage. The former is more limited by our inability to confront the possibility of physical pain. The later thought is tougher because it involves making very conscious and possibly riskier choices with more damaging long term consequences. To understand this paradox we need to realize that we could have gone through both types of challenges to our courage when in school. Most times we wouldn’t mind taking on a bully or squaring up to a rough tackling opponent during the football matches but would be terrified of owning up to  the teacher when caught for some aberration like homework not being done or copying in an exam.

How does one become courageous? The answer lies partly in our upbringing, partly on our mental makeup but largely on our sense of fair play and justice. If one is brought up with a lot of freedom and acceptance and also encouraged to be daring without being a stupid risk taker chances are that one would be more forthcoming and decisive in ones thoughts and actions. Past experiences and a bit of genetics have an important bearing on our mental makeup, but it is possible that an independent thinking person will change for the better with time and determination. However it is the sense of fair play and justice that will ultimately have a major influence on the kind of courage we display. Maintaining balance is critical to display courage in the right measure. Being foolhardy and displaying stupid bravado is not courage and that is an important thought to be borne in mind.

So why is that we lack courage? At times we do experience the sharp pain of hurt, rejection, lack of understanding and loneliness when we embark on a courageous path. Often we find ourselves in a hopeless minority when we stand up for our principles or beliefs. The pain of isolation, the fleeting thought that maybe we are wrong, the overwhelming pressures brought on us by well meaning but perhaps misplaced views of the majority and the strain of furrowing a lonely path frighten us and we succumb to our inhibitions. Then there are threats to our limb an life which are too formidable to be ignored and too treacherous to be treated casually and the net result is that we give up our original courageous path.

Does this make us cowards? If we were to list out the times we have displayed our courage it would make for poor reading and the inference could be that we are cowards. The fault though is that we prune our list and do not list the daily acts of courage we display be it in simply being polite to a boorish person, standing up for our rights when palmed off with fault goods or being over charged, taking up for someone denied justice or simply exhibiting good sense when everyone is going berserk. These acts may not add up to much on the larger scale of courage as displayed by soldiers on the battle field or someone willing to face harassment and possibly being jailed for their own personal convictions. The real measure though is in displaying COURAGE continuously, consistently and courageously for then we Challenge Ourselves Utilize Resources And Get Empowered

Action Points:
  1. Outline 3 situations in which you would have a very very tough time displaying personal courage. Also examine the possible reasons why you think you would not be able to exhibit your courage. 
  2. Can you recollect 3 events / occasions in which you displayed personal courage. What was the feeling you experienced before, during and after the even happened?
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