Wednesday, June 18

Courage

In theory, we would all claim to admire courage. In practice though, we have to admit that there is in it an unexplainable admixture of boldness and madness. Concerned with our own health and welfare, we find it more than a little extraordinary when anyone is willing to risk life and limb for the sake of others—much less for the sake of some principle. Indeed, we have become an age with a dearth of heroes. Bravery has practically become a forgotten virtue—a lost cause. Nevertheless, its allure retains as strong a grip on us today as it has each of the many generations that have preceded us:

“Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give me the man who has the pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing. That’s my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat.” George Eliot

“Fear can keep a man out of danger, but courage can support him in it.” Thomas Fuller

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” Victor Hugo

“The world has no room for cowards. We must all be ready somehow to toil, to suffer, to die. And yours is not the less noble because no drum beats before you when you go out into your daily battlefields, and no crowds shout about your coming when you return from your daily victory or defeat.” Robert Lewis Stevenson

“We cannot expect a more cordial welcome than disturbers of complacency have received in any other age.” Richard Weaver

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength. Industry and determination can do anything that genius and advantage can do and many things that they cannot.” Theodore Roosevelt

“A coward dies a thousand deaths, the valiant dies but once.” William Shakespeare

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” G.K. Chesterton

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on.” General George Patton

“The fear of God makes a hero; the fear of man makes a coward.” Alvin York

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say it is brave.” Mark Twain

“There is little extraordinary about the achievements of a genius, a prodigy, or a savant. Inevitably, a great leader is someone who overcomes tremendous obstacles and still succeeds. That is the essence of courage. It is the ability to maintain, in the face of grave perils, a kind of incognizance of the consequences of doing right. It is the ability to maintain great strength without any impulsive compulsion to use it—that strength is to be held in reserve until and unless it becomes necessary to use it for the cause of right.” Tristan Gylberd

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky.” C.S. Lewis

3 comments:

matt_bullen said...

Your posts encourage me daily. Thank you for taking the time.

Mr. Biloski said...

precisely the sentiment I was about to afford.

Thank you, sir.

Linda said...

Indeed, you are not crazy. It is worth it all.