What Does Courage Mean To You?

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

The word courage can be confusing. A soldier enlists courage by saving fellow soldiers’ lives. A teacher possesses courage when he/she chooses to teach in an inner-city school where gangs run the streets. A law enforcement officer shows courage when he/she refuses to take a bribe. A teen grasps courage to say no to drugs. A person grips courage and accepts a beating instead of following a religion or political policy. A man or woman garners the courage to walk away from an abusive relationship. A person embraces courage to walk away from a high-paying job to serve humanity.

We open the dictionary and find descriptors like bravery, daring, boldness, grit, spunk, and a huge list of other words. We hold tight to what we believe is courageous.

In the scenarios above, are any of the people foolish?

A lack of common sense means different things to us. Behavior is based on our culture, faith, education, upbringing, social-economic level, and age.

Who decides if a person is courageous?

We each establish our perimeters based on our own moral compass. What’s courage for you may be acceptable behavior for me.

Is courage the state of being brave in the middle of a fearful situation?

What is the opposite of courage? A coward comes to mind, someone who runs from potential pain or danger. Yet, in some instances, it takes more courage to run than to stand and fight.

Are courage and love entwined?

Perhaps courage is the strength to love and move forward no matter where our decisions lead. Loving the unlovable requires a sacrifice; it’s a passion to consider others more important than ourselves.

I think of courage as bravery in the face of fear, to shove aside the feelings of how we might be hurt physically, mentally, or spiritually and reach out in unselfish valor that comes from love.

For me, writing means taking a deep breath and allowing creativity to guide my fingers over the keyboard. It’s a daily dose of much-needed bravery when so many writers want their words to be memorable.

One of my goals in novel writing is a hero or heroine to show courage in the midst of danger and for my reader to find inspiration to do something that is fearsome. The event doesn’t have to be the same as what the hero or heroine faced; it just needs to challenge the reader to be a better person.

What does courage mean to you?

DiAnn Mills



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