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The Fundamentals of Courage


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A discussion of the primary characteristics of courage, and how to develop it.

Published in: Spiritual, Education
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The Fundamentals of Courage

  1. 1. courage-yahoo-voices.html?pfstyle=wpThe Fundamentals of CourageAUTHOR: Tom Heston, MD"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in theface. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." - Eleanor RooseveltEleanor Roosevelt faced many challenges during her life. She married Franklin Delano Roosevelt at age 20,then around age 30 she discovered that FDR was having an affair with her own secretary. Shortly thereafter,FDR became paralyzed, and her campaigning on his behalf played a huge role in him winning election to thePresidency of the U.S. Through her fearless and direct actions, she was able to make the most of things,and ultimately became one of the ten most widely admired people of the 20th century according a poll of theAmerican people. She knew that positive thinking was not courage. Talking to her friends about plans for thefuture is not courage. Courage is an action.It takes action to overcome a fear, and only through taking action does one become more bold andcourageous.Through action directed at fear, the fear is overcome and courage is strengthened. So, in orderto become more courageous, it is necessary to embrace the first fundamental element of courage- action."Conscience is the root of all true courage; if a man would be brave let him obey his conscience." - JamesFreeman ClarkeJames Clarke was an early 19th century theologian and author. A graduate of Harvard College in 1829, hethen became a minister for the Unitarian church in Louisville, Kentucky. At the time, Kentucky was a slavestate, but James Clark stood up against his states government and advocated strongly for the abolition ofslavery. This strength of conviction, coupled with action, made Clarke a courageous person others couldfollow and respect. Courage comes from this strength to follow ones conscience, even if it goes againstpopular opinion or as in the case of Clarke, the government. This is the second fundamental principle ofcourage. When actions become aligned with the conscience, courage grows and is strengthened.Taking positive action that is in alignment with the conscience is a simple concept. To strengthen courage,one must act upon the things known to be true, just, and right.Is there something the community needs to be improved? What can be done to help? Is there something inthe family that can improve? What are some simple actions that will help make things better? Is theresomething that should be confronted, but fear is getting in the way of acting?REFERENCESGallup News Service. Mother Teresa Voted by American People as Most Admired Person of the Century. 31-Dec-1999. Retrieved 24-Feb-2012.Eleanor Roosevelt was #9 on this list.Heston T (ed). Courage Builder. Internet Medical Association, Las Vegas, 2011.Author(s) take full responsibility for the content of their article, including originality, copyrights, andcompliance with all relevant Internet laws and guidelines. Articles are not edited for content by the InternetMedical Journal.