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Courage

Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.

–Mark Twain

In The Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion sang of courage:

Dorothy: Your Majesty, If you were King, you wouldn’t be afraid of anything?

Lion:  Not nobody, not nohow!

Tin Man: Not even a rhinoceros?

Lion: Imposserous!

Dorothy: How about a hippopotamus?

Lion: Why, I’d trash him from top to bottomamus!

Dorothy: Supposin’ you met an elephant?

Lion: I’d wrap him up in cellophant!

Scarecrow: What if it were a brontosaurus?

Lion: I’d show him who was King of the Forest!

All Four: How?

Lion: How?

Courage! What makes a King out of a slave?

Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave?

Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk, in the misty mist or the dusky dusk?

What makes the muskrat guard his musk?

Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder?

Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder?

Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot?

What have they got that I ain’t got?

All Four: Courage!

Lion: You can say that again!

Courage can mean so many things to so many people. Many people hear the word courage and it conjurs up visions of firefighters, soldiers, policemen…yet, courage is that and so much more.

How many times in our everyday lives, do we show courage without ever realizing it? How many everyday people must have such courage just to get out of bed in the morning? Some people need courage to do things that others do without even thinking. This is just as courageous as a firefighter going into a burning building.

The definitions of courage are endless, from someone battling cancer, to someone fleeing an abusive relationship, to having to ask for a raise to even just seeing your true self. It is all courage.

Courage carries us through our everyday lives, why many times it takes courage just to drive to work in traffic each day. You don’t think about it, but it is courage.

Many people upon first thinking on the word courage will think of the big things, the heroic things, the things that make the six o’clock news. But what about the courage we show as humans in our everyday lives? The things we do because we must, for ourselves and for our families? The simple things. The acts of courage given in love, and compassion? The acts of courage given in kindness and service to another? The sharing of our hearts, our souls in relationships, is courage at it’s deepest.

Taking inventory of your life, and making changes, takes courage. Coming to any crossroads in your life and deciding which to continue on, putting faith in yourself and a higher power, trusting, stepping into the unknown, is so courageous.

Trusting yourself, trusting another, being vulnerable, reaching out for help, asking a question, reaching out to help another, taking the road less traveled. These are all acts of courage, that people take every day.

How many times have you thought that you couldn’t go on? That you hadn’t the strength? That you had reached the end of your rope? Only to look back and see that you had gone on, that you had found the strength? That you were able to pull yourself back up that rope? Human courage is an amazing gift that we all have, it is a bottomless well. It is what enables us to continue onward, when we truly believe that we cannot.

And you don’t need a big amount of courage, you need only a tiny glimmer, just enough that somewhere in your heart and soul you know its there, whether consciously or subconsciously. That tiny pin prick of courage is enough to sustain you whether you realize it is there or not.

We are all amazing, courageous souls. Just look back in your life to those times that were so trying you thought they may never end, and see the courage that came from inside you and sustained you, and allowed you to help others through. It is always there, you always have courage, even if you don’t feel brave. I am in awe of the courage I have seen in others, it inspires me and never ceases to amaze me.

Like the cowardly lion, we will all discover that we have been courageous all along, that we are brave though we feel afraid, that we can trust ourselves, though we think we can’t and that our courage will sustain us and give us strength throughout the entire travels of our lives.

Now I would like to share some inspiring quotes with you regarding courage.

Personal mastery teaches us to choose. Choosing is a courageous act: picking the results and actions which you will make into your destiny.

–Peter Senge

Courage is rarely reckless or foolish . . . courage usually involves a highly realistic estimate of the odds that must be faced.

–Margaret Truman

Definition of courage: ‘Grace under pressure.

–Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else

–Erma Bombeck

I am old enough to know that victory is often a thing deferred, and rarely at the summit of courage. What is at the summit of courage, I think, is freedom. The freedom that comes with the knowledge that no earthly thing can break you

–Paula Giddings

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

–Mingnon McLaughlin

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

–Vincent Van Gogh

Within each of us is a hidden store of energy. Energy we can release to compete in the marathon of life Within each of us is a hidden store of courage. Courage to give us the strength to face any challenge Within each of us is a hidden store of determination. Determination to keep us in the race when all seems lost

–Roger Dawson The 13 Secrets of Power Performance by Roger Dawson

Courage is like love, it must have hope for nourishment.

–Napoleon Bonaparte

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

–Albert Einstein

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to dark place where it leads.

–Erica Jong

Courage consists of the power of self-recovery.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the hell with sugar and spice.

–Unknown

Courage is sometimes frail as hope is frail: a fragile shoot between two stones that grows brave toward the sun though warmth and brightness fail, striving and faith the only strength it knows–Frances Rodman

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.–Lao Tso

The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage – and act accordingly–Corra May White Harris

Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.–Mary Tyler Moore

Many of our fears are tissuepaper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us through them.–Brendan Francis

Strength and courage aren’t always measured in medals and victories. They are measured in the struggles they overcome. The strongest people aren’t always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.–Ashley Hodgeson

Courage is not the towering oak That sees storms come and go, It is the fragile blossom That opens in the snow–Alice MacKenzie Swaim

To have courage for whatever comes in life-everything lies in that–Mother Teresa

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.–Eleanor Roosevelt

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.–Sir Winston Churchill

Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living–Douglas Malloch

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