The meaning of Courage

December 25, 2017

I think this is a word that is so often confused with acts that have nothing whatsoever to do with courage…the problem seems to be we do not have the wisdom eyes to see….but once our eyes are open with the power of understanding. Then it is easy to make out this word even in ordinary day to day living.

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‘Courage in my opinion should ideally be a very small word for very small people who harbor small dreams like striving to make a better tomorrow for those who they love. Courage to be at least is not usually be a big word for larger than life deeds like storming a machine gun post for king and country. Or even chalking up the number of bone crunching mountains once summitted. Courage has to be a very small word as it is not usually to be found in the redux Hollywood version of what the movie industry regularly markets to the unassuming as courage. That’s because those acts lack the terror of repetition. They all have a defined start and end. One can’t fight after the last shot has rented out. Neither can one climb beyond the summit…they all hold out the Kistch promise of the classic Hollywood ending complete with redemption, resolution and it all ended happily thereafter. The end.

The highest quality of courage is to be found in the ordinariness of living. As here there is no promise of redemption or that it may all even end well….it is just the terror of a road that stretches right on and on. A frightening litany where there is no such thing as a start or end line… each day in this terrifying ordinariness comes and goes with hardly any perceptible changes. Except that you may have noticed one extra white hair or that it’s time to get more toothpaste. It is in the ordinariness of living that requires the highest degree of selflessness, thoughtfulness and consideration…the mother of an autistic child who dares to hope against all odds that one day her child will awaken despite the cruel stares from the ignorant she tries to fashion some semblance of world for her child….the uncomplaining Father who holds down two shift jobs despite having to deal with an evil boss, so that his kids can have an opportunity for a better tomorrow. The humble salaried man who summons uncommon valor to venture into business, not to slake his ego. But because he can read the writing on the wall and has the courage to shed his fears and reinvent himself so that he can be a tongue of light to those who rely on him as the sole breadwinner. The forgotten soldier posted to the outereaches of the Great Wall to guard against marauders, but he keeps his discipline razor sharp by being ever ready to spring into action. As he knows should his line break on his shift, it would mean endless grief for the nation. The technician who goes the extra mile to do a first class job instead of handing it over to the next shift…as he understands the Mission that it all starts and ends with only him. The frontier man who can never return home as there is not enough fuel for the return trip. It’s a one way ticket. But despite the terrible conditions he makes the best of it with a cheerful heart as best he can – as he is a man with a Mission and failure is not an option.

True courage is to be found in the ordinariness of everyday living. One just has to open ones eyes and heart to make it out….it is not to be found in the flash bang of sensationalism or heroic figures who are larger than life…that is an illusion.

Merry Christmas to all of you, the courageous folk wherever you may be….trust me when I say one day all your efforts, sacrifices and hard work will not be vain…it will all come full circle and you will smile.’

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