the ability to do something that frightens one.“she called on all her courage to face the ordeal”
strength in the face of pain or grief.“he fought his illness with great courage”
I see a lot of people on facebook patting themselves on the back for their courage, or falsely claiming something else is courageous, or falsely claiming that something isn’t courageous which is.
Girls seem to think that if men break up with them, they’re brave.
Boys seem to think if they have sex with scads of women and leave them, they’re brave.
Old people think it’s brave to be old, and young people think it’s brave to be rebellious.
None of these things are brave. I have a couple of examples to demonstrate my point but let’s start with the definition.
Strength overcoming fear. That’s what courage is. That’s all it is. That’s all it ever has been. That’s all it ever will be.
So it’s very simple. If you overcome your fear, you have demonstrated courage. But there is also the matter of perspective.
EXAMPLE 1 – Chatanooga Shooting Victims
UPDATE: Apparently I stand corrected. The servicemen killed in the shooting were not mere victims, they sacrificed themselves, a tremendous act of courage. I leave my original text in place for posterity and maintain that being a victim does not mean you are necessarily brave or courageous.
Take the 5 soldiers who are dead because of a Muslim extremist.
They weren’t courageous because they were shot by a muslim extremist. That wasn’t brave at all. In fact, by definition, being murdered in any capacity can’t be brave, because the person being murdered isn’t doing anything to overcome their fear. So if we look at the act itself, the murder, it was not courageous on the part of the soldiers. They were victims of an awful crime.
But they were courageous for putting on those uniforms ever in the first place. When you go to a job, when you go to the HR office, you know that you won’t be going home in any body bags. You’ll clock in, do some work, maybe take a bathroom break, go to lunch, work some more, and go home.
When you walk into a recruiting office, you know that there is a very real world possibility some friend you haven’t even met yet will go knocking on the door of your loved ones to tell them you’re dead. That’s bravery. Having the strength of will to sign those papers and possibly give your life for something you believe in, despite that being a VERY terrifying thing, oh that’s bravery.
EXAMPLE 2 – Bruce Jenner
And Bruce Jenner, was he brave? Not from my perspective, at least not for putting on a dress and having plastic surgery done and posing for vanity fair. He went into the loving arms of the beneficent applauding public. That’s not scary.
Perhaps the bravest moment he had, though it wasn’t benificial bravery, was to admit to himself that he was a woman in his mind.
My goodness that has to be terrifying. To admit to yourself that you have a mental illness. That could be taken sarcastically, I mean it in earnest.
But then to walk off that cliff that your brain is telling you to walk off? That’s just going with the flow. It’s very easy to follow your instincts, to trust your mind, even if you know it is in a dysfunctional state. It isn’t scary. It isn’t brave. It’s following the path of least resistance. Had he resisted the delusion he would have faced the much less vocal embrace of sane people. We don’t shout as loudly as the rest, but we would have welcomed him. But the yah yahs would have decried him and questioned his mental capacity just as we sane people have, except for insane reasons. To say someone is incapable of addressing problems with their mind is a lie, but the left insists it is true. It insists we are slave to our animal instinct, and that we should look to the bonobo monkey to see that they too practice homosexuality.
Leave off the fact that they’re monkeys. That’s irrelevant, we’re all just animals anyway. There is no difference in a man and a monkey really. Hell, we certainly kill our children when they become inconvenient. But even the bonobos consider BEFORE BIRTH to be a bit early for that.
A great many people will disagree with me here. They’ll say, “Hey, it WAS brave, because she KNEW that some folks like YOU would be cutting her down! YOU BIGOT!”
I am but a humble man with a blog. How heavy does my voice truly weigh on the masses? I am not cutting Bruce Jenner down. I do not wish to hurt or cause pain to Bruce Jenner.
I love Bruce Jenner. I love him as I love all human beings. This is why I instruct him as Christ did “Go now, and leave your life of sin.”
There. Now if you choose not to believe that I do not hate Bruce Jenner, you’re following your own delusions. You’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth, and that’s all you have to go on. You don’t know my mind. You don’t know how I feel, unless I tell you. And I have. If you assume something about me based on some group you believe I identify with or perhaps what news you think I watch, you’re the bigot. And you’re quite ignorant.
God commands me to love Bruce Jenner. And I should. He hasn’t even done anything wrong! He just has a mental illness, and has been encouraged by the masses to follow it.
And perhaps it seems to you that since I have declared him uncourageous I am attempting to hurt him. Not at all.
You see, courage is something we all would like to think we have. I have no doubt there is a measure of courage in Bruce Jenner.
But truth is truth is truth is truth. There is nothing scary about sinking into a warm bath, a fresh pair of slippers, or your mind’s delusions. It’s the most comfortable thing you can do.
Had he worn the get up from vanity fair in Saudi Arabia, that would have been quite brave.
So to sum up: Though it is utterly inconvenient, bravery is not implied by adversity.