View Full Version : Courage

05-20-2006, 02:03 PM


George Washington

It all comes down to courage . . .

If you have courage (from the French "with heart"), then you're willing to face that really stinky mess in the garage and clean it up.

You have faith you can clean it up, because you've cleaned up other really stinky messes, or seen other people do it. In other words, you have faith because you have experience of succeeding in the past.

Now Americans don't have much faith that we can throw out a bunch of murdering, psychotic tyrants (excuse my French). Why? Because we don't have experience succeeding against such people.

Sure, the Founding Fathers threw out the British; but that was WAY back in the day, hundreds of years before we were born. French revolution? Ancient history, and a different country. WWII? Still generations back for many of us, and that was different. The WWII generation was fighting "the good war", and never knew that our own government probably let Pearl Harbor be attacked in order to justify the U.S. entry into WWII to help out the British. So we have no experience of having really stood up to tyrants.

Fat and Happy
Moreover, we Americans have led a very pampered life for the past couple of decades. Sure, there has been inequality and exploitation, and some have had it a lot worse than others. But, other than stopping extreme forms of racism (Ku Klux Klan, etc.), we haven't had to defend our borders or our liberties.

Basicially, we complain if our tv goes on the fritz, or our team loses the game, or we can't afford that new, nicer whatzit, or if our boss is mean. We think those are big, Earth-shattering, history-changing events. But they are quite small in the grand scheme of things

And even those of us who think of ourselves as brave heroes usually only act like that when we know it is within the bounds of safety, within the limits of what we can handle. "Tough guys" tend to turn into meek mice whenever they are really threatened.

So we're basically lazy and timid, but we don't know or admit it. We like to pretend we are like the Founding Fathers or John Wayne (at least the cowboys had to rough it a little).

But we have no experience of successfully standing up to tyrants, so we have no faith that it can be done, and while the evidence is right before our noses that our current leaders are tyrants, we're so terrified that we have our knickers in a bunch.

If courage is acting "with heart", we've lost heart. And without heart, we cannot face the truth of 9/11, or lying to start wars, or fascism, or torture, or dictatorship.

Finding Courage
So how do we regain our heart? Well, let's start with what gets our hearts beating.

Do we care about our kids, our significant others, our parents, our friends? Do we care about the freedom to choose what we want, instead of having our "great leader" choose for us?

If not, what DO you care about? Because if that is where your heart is, that is what will give you courage.

Even if you are driven by greed, then -- unless you directly make your living from the defense or oil industries (the two sectors profiting wildy under the current administration) -- you have motive to restore democracy to our country.

Take Heart
And even if you haven't experienced success in standing up to tyrants, remember that the Founding Fathers did just that. They were just men, not gods. Sure, they were too persistent and stubborn to give up, but that's because they CARED about something: freedom.

They may have lived hundreds of years before our time, but that doesn't matter. Time is an illusion, since human nature is the same now as it was then. Just as many people of faith ask "what would Jesus do?", we can also ask "what would the founding fathers do?" If they could do it, we can do it.

I care too much about my kids and my freedom to be afraid. I care enough about them that it gets my heart beating, and that gives me courage.

And if George Washington and Ben Franklin and those people could do it, then -- by golly -- so can we.

Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.
– Thomas Jefferson

One man with courage is a majority.
- Thomas Jefferson

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
- Goethe

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.
-John Wayne

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
- Ambrose Redmoon

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.
- Aristotle

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
- Robert F . Kennedy

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
- Seneca, Native American

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
-Winston Churchill

I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a "transformer" in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
- Steven Covey

Courage is an everyday thing. When we look reality squarely in the eye and refuse to back away from our awareness, we are living courage.
- Anonymous

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
- Hellen Keller

Courage is doing what your afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
- Eddie Rickenbacker

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
_ George Patton

Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Courage and resolution are the spirit and soul of virtue.
- Thomas Fuller

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.
-Sonia Johnson

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead