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New Philosopher Issue 38 Courage



New Philosopher # 38 COURAGE

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” - Juvenal

Most people love to be praised as intelligent, generous, funny, or kind, but to called ‘courageous’, ‘daring’, or ‘brave’ eclipses the rest.

When we reflect on the people we regard as courageous, we tend to be very narrow in our thinking. We immediately conjure up visions of soldiers in battle, fearlessly risking their lives for a noble cause, or firefighters cradling children in their arms as flames crackle and burn. We remember those who have suffered to battle injustice, whistle-blowers who have gone against authority for a moral or public concern. With a tear in our eye, we always have a special place in our heart for them: the courageous, the bold, and the brave.

But rarely do we think of adding such a fine virtue to our own repertoire in everyday life. Few wake up in the morning with the steadfast determination to become more courageous. Self-help books, of course, implore you to take more risks, to feel the fear and do it anyway, to do one thing a day that scares you. But how might life be treated with a measure of courage?

Read more of the editors letter in Issue 38