the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery
strength in the face of pain or grief
from Old French corage, from Latin cor ‘heart’
I have a friend who is especially interested in supporting courage in youth. Reading her blog has me thinking about when I have witnessed courage in others and wondering about whether I am courageous.
Reading the definition above I understand why many of us are able to name courage in others but not in ourselves. We are afraid of the encounters, the hurdles, the pains, the circumstances, but those we name as courageous seem to act without regard to fear. We may sense their trepidation but not fear. My friends often tell me I’ve been raising my disabled son in a courageous way. I feel like I’ve just been doing what I’m supposed to do.
Maybe that is another aspect of being courageous; being so in tune with ones personal values that the acts and words called forth in those tenuous moments come naturally. That isn’t to say they come easily, just that they flow from an inner strength of spirit that was there even before courage called it out.
If I am courageous it is only because so many have nurtured my inner spirit, made it feel so safe and self-assured that when it has been called upon to take a leap of faith, it has walked, run, flown… without hesitation.