In Others’ Words: Courageous Steps

Courage quote Konrad 2014

I used to think courage always had to be something big — like jumping out of an airplane or saying, “Yes, I’m crazy enough … I mean, courageous enough, to ride that wild bull!”

But I’ve learned that courage is often choosing to do the next right thing … choosing not to quit … choosing to say yes because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s what I want to do.

Sometimes I’m courageous — and no one else will ever notice. I’m taking the next small step of freedom, of doing the right thing at the right time, and no one else is there to cheer or applaud or say, “Good job.” But I was brave because I stared down my private fears, my doubts.

Sometimes courage is believing in the possibilities instead of the IMpossibilies — and knowing that my choices, one decision at a time — makes all the differences.

In Your Words: What does courage look like to you? When you look back, what series of small steps equaled courage in your life?

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  1. June 25, 2014, 6:14 am   /  Reply

    In some cases, Courage is doing that which we know we should even when it’s inconvenient…like a child taking care of a parent with Alzheimers or a parent caring for a special needs child….it’s doing the right thing even when we don’t really want to.

  2. June 25, 2014, 6:53 am   /  Reply

    I don’t know what courage is. The times I’ve done things that others thought brave, I was either doing a job with an appreciation that the risks were lower than one might perceive, or I was furious with myself and the world for having to be in a truly dangerous situation.

    A paradrop may look dangerous, and it may run up against our most visceral fears, but it’s simply an illusion. The drive to the airfield is far more of a hazard.

    Stepping into a situation that’s truly dangerous is simply stupid, unless there’s no other choice and life has to be protected. Then it becomes necessary, and walking away is a dishonor, and a failure of duty.

    There doesn’t seem to be room in my worldview for conventional courage – and in terms of physical courage, that’s accurate. Physical courage without overriding need is simply bravado, and bravado leads to waste of life and health.

    But moral courage is a different matter. The politician who risks a career by supporting a cause that’s right, the employee who refuses to implement dishonesty at work, the popular child who chooses to befriend a special needs kid at the risk of that hard-won popularity…these are the courageous ones.

    • June 25, 2014, 10:00 am   /  Reply

      You make a good point, Andrew, reminding us that our choices that have us standing up for right and wrong are courageous.

  3. June 25, 2014, 8:13 am   /  Reply

    I love your definition of courage: Sometimes courage is believing in the possibilities instead of the IMpossibilies — and knowing that my choices, one decision at a time — makes all the difference.

    Another way to define courage is: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” By Ambrose Redmoon.

    Doing what must be done rather than allowing fear to keep me from it. I like Pat’s and Andrew’s descriptions of courage as well. 🙂

    • June 25, 2014, 10:01 am   /  Reply

      I hadn’t heard that quote before, Jeanne. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. June 25, 2014, 8:29 am   /  Reply

    Sending your kids off into the unknown is courageous.

  5. June 25, 2014, 9:28 am   /  Reply

    Courageous is moving past self-doubt and fear to wholeheartedly follow the calling God placed on your heart despite the obstacles and doubters.

    • June 25, 2014, 10:01 am   /  Reply

      Amen, Donna. Amen.

  6. June 25, 2014, 9:55 am   /  Reply

    So true. So good. And I’m amazed at the people God places in my life to give me courage … just to give that little nudge. It’s a nice feeling to recognize God talking!

    One instance in my life … is when I was told one particular little baby might have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. When my feet wanted to run, I knew if God was opening a door, it was for a reason. And that little one turned out perfect. 🙂 I can’t rejoice enough that I didn’t miss out on joy because of fear.

    And do you know … God brought someone into my life at that exact moment to remind me of just that. She said, “I’m reluctant to close a door God opens.”

    • June 25, 2014, 10:03 am   /  Reply

      It is good to remember when our courage falters, God is always there to offer his strenght to us.

  7. June 26, 2014, 8:18 am   /  Reply

    I was on plane most of yesterday but God builds lots of growth and courage, trust, and growth in us during times of change. Even today, returning to MN from west coast, I’m sensing that there are more times of change ahead for me, and that keeps me flexibly alive and capable of more growth–a good thing.

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