Character Talks IA Blog
Monthly posts exploring different character virtues.
When I look out into the world today I see courage everywhere.
We stumble across courage every day yet we often fail to realise it. When I sat down to write this I didn’t really know how I could write a page on this topic. In the hope of becoming inspired I reached out to others and asked...
“What does courage mean to you?”
Often when we are stuck for answers we internalise our confusion and frustration but sometimes when we reach out to others we learn more about ourselves in the process. This exercise in itself has made this more meaningful for me to write. Using our social media platforms/apps to connect with others in a meaningful way is very rarely done in our techno-centric world today. It was extremely uplifting and humbling to hear people talk so openly about courage.
The lesson I learnt from this was that courage doesn’t have one definition. Courage is a word that is built from ones experience and is defined in different ways based on ones outlook on life. But when we create a space for meaningful conversation, we can bring people together to see the power of courage reflected back at us. I learnt that collectively we can feel more courageous if we witness others courage in some way.
Some of the responses I received were powerful, beautiful and revealing. They are a snapshot into the story of a life lived where courage has played a part in the real world. So this post isn’t just about what I think courage is. This post is about a collective response of courageous behaviour and experience. Behind this post are many stories that have built this picture of courage and I leave you with this - Owning your courage makes others more courageous because it gives them permission to own theirs.
What does courage mean to you? Responses from brave people:
“Courage is the ability to love your enemies and those that hurt you.”
“Courage is a state of mind where an individual is willing to take a risk to achieve their goal and then act upon it.”
“Courage means not to be afraid of yourself - your own perceptions of your own limitations. It means not caring about what others may think and choosing to do what's right and natural. Courage is having strength of character to make difficult choices and decisions for the better.”
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”
“Courage for me is possessing the willingness to act in spite of fear and being able to surpass the conflict in your mind of doubts with grace.”
“Courage is going after something with an uncertain outcome and being prepared to lose who you are and what you have for who you want to become and what you want to have.”
“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“Courage is standing amidst fear and standing up to it. It’s that continual pursuit of putting yourself in scary and compromising positions and coming out on the other side."
“It’s the place where revolutions take place and evolution takes place. Its one of the spaces where you feel most alive.”
“Leaving the safety of the harbour, even though you are unsure what the journey may bring.”
“Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”
“Courage does not know where you’re heading but having enough faith in yourself to know that you will get there one day.”
“Lots of sweat, tears, fear and perseverance.”
“Doing something you're afraid of, whether that's a fear of spiders or a fear of letting yourself be happy.”
“Overcoming any sized obstacles.”
“Being brave enough to step out of your comfort zone.”
“Courage is God-given.”
“The ability to trust yourself and what you're capable of.”
“Courage is having courage again and again and again.”
“Doing things YOU know are right, even if everyone around you thinks you're wrong.”
“Courage...facing anything in life whilst being brave”
“Strength in the face of pain or loss and the strength to stand up for your own beliefs.”
“Courage is standing on your own two feet, being proud of what you've achieved, and believing in yourself even when others try to knock u down.”
“Courage for me feels like this:
The strength to rise and lift up; the strength to overcome; the walking past your fear and taking it by the hand and jumping in to whatever you're facing, not knowing what will happen or become, but going forth anyway; finding that boldness and braveness that makes you jump, and take on feats and fly; that little spark inside of you that makes things happen - that listens to and acts on the voice inside that says you can do it, despite the odds - self created, or otherwise.”
Courage: to find the moment, to be bold, to be brave, to fly.”
“Courage means taking action with a purpose in mind and building myself with good values. I think God can help with that to inspire courage within.”
“The ability to overcome a challenge, especially one you struggled with before.”
“Courage means so many things to me. All of us are so brave in our lives in so many ways. Beginning to accept ourselves for who we are is an act of courage, Loving another human being is courageous because it makes us so vulnerable to hurt. As they say courage dear heart, courage.”
“Not doing what everyone else is doing.”
“Courage to me is that spark of bravery before doing anything.
It can be used on micro and macro level. Its that burst of energy to make or be a change.”
“Feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”
“It's when your scared to do something because you're not totally sure that you can actually do it or will even survive it but you know deep inside that you must do this thing, your heart is racing, you're sweaty but you take a deep breath, pray/hope for the best, breathe out and at that same moment as you step forward without any more hesitation, that, for me is courage.”
“Courage for me is being 100% true to yourself and authentic regardless of any external factors, whether it be:
Opinions, Weather, The past, Environment
Etc. Doing what's right and not what you feel will make you look/feel the best.”
“Courage to me means to stand up to what you believe in and do what you think is right. To embrace uncertainty and the unfamiliar. We all have a tendency to stick to what we know, to do what we have always done, to surround ourselves with likeminded people, and to avoid those who are least like us – those who challenge or threaten our values or worldview. In the end we all like to believe that what we say and do is right and that our thoughts and feelings are somehow more justified and real than others’.
But at the end of the day we are all human and sometimes something as simple as appreciating strengths and admitting faults, forgiving and letting go, takes exactly that – courage.”
Read more about our Phenomenal Woman Ambassador
Imani is studying a Character Education Masters. She is passionate about giving individuals a space to reflect on their journey through life. On this blog we will explore different character virtues, share life experience and much more.