By Justin Gates
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”– Maya Angelou
Courage is more than just standing against the odds, opposing fear, or acting in spite of our own best interest. Courage is a power we inspire in others. Where a Knight is found, others should find courage in knowing they do not stand alone against evils in the world. Courage is something we bring to others because they know that if they stand up, there will be others there, and this dispels fear.
Being courageous has nothing to do with being “Macho”. This is not a trait attributed to any gender or age. It is not attributed to a certain size or build. Neither is courage attributed to any single activity or situation. The truth is, we all experience fear in some capacity from time to time in our daily lives. Courage is that which allows us to find the strength to persevere past an obstacle laid in front of us. Such obstacles can be big things or little things, fear is fear and without courage, we would be ill-equipped to deal with these parts of our lives.
Courage is most definitely the most popular and most widely taught of all of the virtues. The examples are plentiful and can be found in most of the stories and movies we have read or seen put courage as the center point of the story. The examples that are taught to us from history are most often examples of bravery and courage in one form or the other. Does this make courage the most important of all of the virtues? I don’t think so. Each has its place and function within the things we do, the way we act, and the paths that we walk. We recognize courage as being more than just a condition of the physical body. As we strive to be more complete in our lives, by that I mean incorporating mind/body/spirit in everything we do, then we must recognize courage as a state of being of the whole self.
The two most common types of situations that we attribute to being courageous are those of the physical and moral varieties. These are those situations where real physical consequences can take place for you or someone within reach if action is not taken. Depending on the severity of the situation, the consequences could be dire or fatal. Many of our heroes from both the fictional world and the actual world are portrayed in this way. We see them as being physically strong and resilient. They seem to overcome any and all dangers that they face. They run into situations that are seemingly impossible and save the day!
The second is that of moral courage. Standing up for what you believe in, standing up for what is right, finding the courage to stand up for yourself when everyone seems like they are against you. Often times taking a moral stand can and does bring physical consequences as well.
Training and practice go a long way. The more you train and practice for potential situations, the more likely your confidence will be in your abilities. When you are confident in your abilities to act, courage will come much easier.
Be persistent! Don’t give up on the things that matter to you. A true measure of your courage is not how hard you fall; it is measured on how you get back up. Fall 10 times and get up 11. Have faith in yourself. Having courage is not the absence of fear; it is having fear and choosing to stand up to it. Fear, doubt, and hesitation are killers of men. Remember your training; it will serve you in a time of need. Know that when the time comes, it will be useful to you. Courage does not come from haphazard actions. Courage comes from the position of right action, a trained mind, and a trained body. Trust your training. Trust your beliefs. Trust yourself.
Awaken the Knight Within!