Security & courage

Real courage is being afraid but doing it anyways.

Oprah Winfrey

So there is really no such thing as really feeling brave; if anything it’s probably feeling some anxiety, and the tension of having to somehow suppress that and take action. And courage isn’t always about the big things or taking big actions. It can be just saying no. Or overcoming some internal resistance to take a small action.

But isn’t taking courage at odds with seeking security? Our desire to conquer nature in part stems from the desire to seek security. And so are the tendencies natural to us such as the desire for association, or even seeking some degree of security in social status. Where then would courage come from? How does it start? How does it form or take root? And how does it translate into action?

Courage probably isn’t exactly ever independent of the action taken that allows us to ascribe courage to someone. Courage is probably not something mustered within us as we describe in language. It exists not as a quantity but perhaps more as a description of the combination of action and circumstances. The thoughts and abilities to lead to courage then involves a story that we tell ourselves, one that takes down the desire for security, that disputes that instinct to be ‘safe’. A story that actually gives us something greater we yearn for in taking action.


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  1. […] is not the absence of fear but presence of faith. So courage ultimately becomes a description of the action taken; what came before the emergence of that courage (or act of courage) was simply […]