Do you remember the last time when you showed courage?
Courage is often a measure of our self-esteem and will. Courage is what makes us individuals different from others. It shows in what we believe and the power of belief over our will. It is always "the difficult path." It could be an unconscious act of boldness, but before all it is the conscious decision of a person to act despite the danger. Thus, courage is always related to belief, will, and danger. There is no courage whitout risk. There is no heroism without stakes. We cannot speak about courage without thinking about losses and victories. Courage differs from imprudence or madness by its results. The courageous act saves lives, gives hope, it is a rare act of self-scrifice for the good of others. The criminal who steals, or lies for personal gain, or kills, who causes unhappiness to others with his reckless actions, is not a courageous person.
William Ian Miller, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and specialist of Icelandic sagas, medieval history, emotions, vices, and virtues, published recently The Mystery of Courage (Harvard University Press). In "Danger, Death, and... Dieting? ", an article that appeared in The In Character magazine, Miller makes a short resume of his book.
Courage was a great subject for the ancient Greeks, writes Miller. Athenians were proud that their courage is "natural" and "voluntary" in contrast with those of their enemies, the Spartans, who according to Pericles, were forced to be courageous through extensive training and painful discipline. Spartans, on the other hand, were prone to give a prize to the most courageous and prident of their warriors.
Courage lacking "prudence" was less esteemed among the Spartans. Evidence for this was Aristodemus, one of their warriors, who didn't receive the prize because of his rashly heroism in the battle of Plataea (479 BC). Miller says that courage was also "politics" for the ancient Greeks; there were standards of courage, for citizens and for warriors, that measured their level of heroism. Courage was so important for the Greeks that national self-esteem depended on it.
Courage is still used for political inspiration. Politicians and leaders all over the world call for courage; nations and groups pride themselves with the courage they show. "People still care intensely about courage- says Miller - and we're still trying to stack the deck in our own favor. Determining who has courage, what actions count, who gets the prize, is disputed now no less than in the Iliad. In our day we hear people praised for their courage for sticking to a diet, for giving up smoking, even for investing in a Silicon Valley start-up."
Courage is often discussed among the philosophers. Plato, for example, explained that courage is not only an act of resistence aginst fear and pain, it is also the ability to control your desires. For Plato, the Stoics, and the early Christians, courage was closely related to self-control. Describing the "courageous" Socrates in his Dialogues, Plato showed that the true philosopher is a courageous person. Socrates demonstrated that man should respect the law and should be ready to give his life for the truth. (Miller however says that some of the braver people he has met do not happen to be in humanities departments or law schools.)
Miller argues that the stricter view of courage gets its classical formulation from Aristotle, who makes courage a matter of risking life and limb in war for the polis. "The martial view is easily the dominant view, informing heroic literature and songs of triumph from Ur to Ugarit, to Judea and Nineveh, to the Germanic North. Indeed, it is pretty nearly a universal view of courage."
Miller finds two basic conceptions on courage: the courage as offence and the courage as defense. "The courage of offense was and remained the preserve of men and, by widespread ideology across a multitude of cultures, upper-class men. The courage of defense, though by obvious necessity and by definition, was no less at home on the battlefield than the courage of offense. Consider that a good portion of ancient and medieval warfare was siege warfare. More than anything it involved the ability to endure long, drawn-out suffering, pain, and hunger, and the constant importuning visions of eating your children, or being eaten by them."
Perhaps from the courage of defense comes the idolization of martyrdom. "The courage of defense, martyr-like fortitude, began to dominate on the battlefield," says Miller and gives us the examples of mechanized war, the trenches, the mud, cold, filth, and death that the soldiers had to endure.
There are many theories and tales about the courage, but as Abner Small, a Civil War veteran, wrote (cited by Miller): men were heroes or cowards "in spite of themselves."
Miller finishes his essay discussing moral courage. "Moral courage, he writes, is a rather recent development; the term does not appear in English until the nineteenth century. It took a largely pacified society for people to think to distinguish stand-up-in-meeting kind of courage - the courage of risking ridicule, humiliation, loss of employment, or social ostracism for speaking out against injustice, or of defying immoral or illegal orders from a superior - from plain old courage."
The thing that distinguishes moral courage from all other forms of courage, and this seems the most interesting point of Miller's ideas on the subject, is that it is usually a lonely courage. To fight injustice or overcome difficulties alone, without the support of heroic tales and examples, of sermons, public opinion and friends, needs a courage that only a few are capable of.
Previously we discussed advantages and disadvantages of watching movies and reading books. Today I am going to introduce to you courage essay. Bravery is a significant trait of a character and may come at hand at any life situations. It is not a secret that fear is strong negative emotion which is the result of any kind of danger. It is natural to be afraid of any straight danger but it is unreasonable to be scared by something hypothetic, something that can’t happen. Although you may suffer lack of courage, sometimes it is necessary to force it out of yourself.
When I pondered on the theme I recollected striking example of courage. Being a child I read the book “The Brothers Lionheart” written by Astrid Lindgren. Although the whole book covers the theme of bravery, we find the illustration of it in the very beginning. The story tells us about thirteen year-old Jonatan and his terminally ill younger brother Karl who is ten. One day a fire breaks out in their home. The elder boy doesn’t get confused, takes his sibling on his back and jumps out the window. Thereby, Jonatan dies and Karl remains alive. I remember my feelings when I read this moment. At first I was at loss but then I understood Jonatan’s behavior. He was very courageous boy and his act of self-sacrifice saved his brother.
You may find great amount of essays on courage containing information about people who are remarkable for their brave behavior, who sacrificed their freedom and comfort. Martin Luther King, Thomas Jefferson, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Abraham Lincoln and many others are among them. Since ancient times courage was regarded as an integral part of a person who was powerful to confront the challenges serving for the good of others. I think courage essays should include its definition. According to Wikipedia it is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. Courage is one of virtues that reflects moral power to overcome fears. Frequently it is the ability to bear sufferings including physical pain.
So, what is courage? It is the strength of the spirit which helps people to get rid of fears while doing dangerous as well as significant things. But courage is an inherent quality of few people. How can a fearful person become the brave one? May courage be the inherited feature of a human? Is it possible to evolve bravery within an individual who doesn’t have such disposition? To be honest, there is no direct connection between courage and inherited traits. Bravery is like the muscles of our body: constant training can help to enhance and develop it. Human actions are more substantial than circumstances. Courage may also be something small nevertheless meaningful in our everyday life. It is manifested when a person risks his life saving others as well as a teenager confesses his fault. The kid understands that his misdeed entails punishment but still tells the truth. I think it also can be considered as demonstration of fortitude.
Courage is the responsibility for committed actions and is directed towards the good of other people. It is the ability to sacrifice yourself though gaining no benefit of it. It is the skill to act immediately without fear of consequences. It is the best trait of a person we can be proud of. You might have watched the movie “Pay it forward”. The main character Trevor found strength to protect his classmate suffering the violence of bully schoolboys. The kid evinced great will and courage for the good of his friend. Unfortunately, there are few such brave people.
We can say that courage is conscious overcoming the discomfort despite expected unpleasant worrying and possible risks. Optionally it relates to some global exploit. It is life strategy that helps to avoid unfavorable environments evoking fear and other negative feelings. Perhaps I will inform you of something new: here are different varieties of courage. Specialists have different points of view concerning bravery. I want to introduce its main types:
- Physical courage – willingness to overcome painful corporal sensations.
- Moral courage – availability to protect your own rights, opinions and beliefs despite social norms and views.
- Intellectual courage – readiness to assert your own concept, develop it against disappointments and negative responses of society.
- Emotional courage – alacrity to express your feelings and wishes regardless of fear of being rejected by associates.
- Courage of empathy – willingness to empathize people despite the fear of being trapped by a subject’s emotions.
So, any intention or effort implicates the manifestation of bravery. It is noticeable more often. Modern people are afraid of lots of stuff. Let’s take love for example. Many men and women have hard experience of unhappy love. That is why they fear of new relations. They are afraid to open their hearts to another one because they don’t want to be refused as it happened before. But most of such people find courage to let another person into their souls.
People get used to live their daily life inside their comfort zones. They do not wish to make any decisions in uncertain situations and keep it untouched. Courageous men try to change their lives and risk. They can even leave everything they have achieved and start for their dreams.
Try to remember how often you have lied for your own good. People around you can suffer because of it. It is difficult to be brave while telling the truth. But great courage is shown when you make the right choice in favor of honesty.
Thus we can say that bravery is the person’s quality which appears in different situations. Mostly it considers self-sacrifice actions for the good of others. But it also relates to exploits as well as leaving through negative events which may happen every day. You may show bravery while being honest or just following dreams. The only thing you should remember that you have to believe in your own abilities. You can find enough courage to do the right choice.
If you liked this essay and want to order it you can do it on our website. Visit our blog to find more useful essays. Don’t forget to leave your recommendations and do not be afraid to ask questions!