The dictionary definition of courage as per the Oxford English Dictionary is ‘the ability to do something that frightens one’, but is it really that simple? Courage is often portrayed as physical bravery in books and movies which see the hero making a sacrifice for the greater good. However, courage can be more than a physical act. Think of social activists and those speaking out against injustice. They too are displaying courage, albeit a different type of courage. We can also consider entrepreneurs like Walt Disney or Steve Jobs as being courageous people given the financial risks that they took in order to pursue a dream. There are different types of courage ranging from physical strength and endurance to mental stamina, innovation and emotional bravery. Let’s take a look at the various different attributes of courage.
One of the most common displays of courage is when someone chooses to act despite the fact that they feel fear regarding the task or feat in front of them. This is probably what most people think of when they think of courage. Some examples of this type of courage would be firefighters running into a burning building or someone trying skydiving for the first time! Courage in this sense is not about being fearless, but rather it is about triumphing despite being afraid. The same can said of courage in situations where the individual perseveres even in the face of great adversity. Haven’t we all commented on how courageous a Paralympic athlete is for working to overcome their disability and excel in a sport? This is a slightly different take on the idea of physical courage or bravery in that it is not so much that the person is scared, but that they are facing a challenge which a less courageous person might see as insurmountable. Another variation on this is courage which takes the form of facing suffering with dignity and grace. How we react in terrible situations can speak volumes about out character and those who are able to face humiliation, suffering or degradation and still keep their composure could also be deemed to have great courage. A great illustration of this comes from popular culture. In the television show Outlander, there is an important scene where the hero, Jamie Fraser, is given 200 lashes leaving his back permanently disfigured. However, throughout the ordeal he refuses to cry out even although he must be in terrible pain. He bore his suffering with dignity and poise and was therefore behaving in a courageous manner.
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However, courage is not always about these more physical aspects of bravery. Courage can also come from a more emotional place. There are a number of examples of how a person could exhibit this type of courage including following their dreams despite the risks that doing so involves financially or emotionally. This is the type of courage that can be attributed to pioneering entrepreneurs like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. Similarly, courage can be show when someone stands up for what they believe is right. This includes speaking out against injustice and some of the well known people to have shown this type of courage would include the likes of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. It takes courage to speak your mind, especially if your opinion is in the minority. Finally, we could also say that courage comes from being brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and explore new horizons. Without the courage of explorers and adventures there would be a great many things that we would not have discovered about the world in which we live. Take Christopher Columbus who was among the first explores to challenge the concept that the world was flat. Where would we be now if he had been to afraid to sail towards the horizon just in case he was wrong? It took great courage for him to leave his familiar world and set of in search of new places that he couldn’t even be sure really existed.
In conclusion, while courage is usually defined as acting despite fear it is actually a much more complex attribute. Depending on the situation that an individual is actually in, they will have the opportunity to demonstrate courage in a number of different ways whether that means taking a stand and speaking out against injustice or physically overcoming something that triggers a fearful response.
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So, courage is a term, used to define the trait of character, thanks to which a person is willing to face difficulties, danger, pain and death threat. In more specific definition, it is the ability of a person to face his fears. What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word “courage”? Most people usually think about workers of such dangerous professions as policemen, fire workers and life guards. However, this cognitive notion is not very precise to describe courageous person. In my opinion, courageous person is the one, who acts the way he does, without attracting any attention to his personally, which means that his actions are aimed at the result, not at the popularity. Such people usually are not only courageous, but also kind, responsive, outgoing and willing to help sincerely.
Courage is often being confused with leadership, but it is the wrong comparison, because leadership only complements the qualities of courage. Courage is closer to the risk, as any courage person, as, for example, the one, who goes to save someone from the burning house, takes a risk. He is risking his own life and health for the benefit of another person. Of course, he does it without any benefit for himself.
Another synonym to courage is bravery. These two concepts are almost identical. However, being brave means to be able to handle any difficulty, without taking risks. Nowadays, it is very difficult to find courageous person, who is representing all the qualities of this notion. To be fully courage, means to be able to sacrifice your time, energy, to take risks in the benefit of others. It is an amazing trait of character, inherent to strong and forceful people only.
You can not be born courageous. You can work out this trait with time and your personal life experience. However, you should also possess some other qualities, such as honesty and understanding of friendship, in order to be really courageous. Being courage is a great advantage and it would be great if all the people were courageous to a certain extent. Going through difficulties and possessing ruling force, we all be able to create better society and better world in general, as such personal traits of character are highly appreciated among others.