Courage

Courage is the ability to act in the face of danger and uncertainty. Although it is more of an emotion or state of mind, it is an important part of one's life. This is because the future is always uncertain. We can acquire understanding of the world, but there are too many factors to accurately predict the future. Or more importantly, to be certain that our prediction will come to pass. This is because we can make predictions that end up being accurate (even guessing works sometimes), but we have no means of knowing whether it will really occur.

Even danger is constantly present. There is no completely reliable way of avoiding danger. We can lessen the risk in many respects, but we cannot avoid it entirely. Even staying in our homes constantly does not remove risk.

Nor would we want to. Life is not just about avoiding death. It is about achieving values and happiness. Courage must overcome both the fear of danger and uncertainty. They must be pushed aside in order to get on with the business of living. Living with courage, in this respect, is virtuous.


Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands