Sunday, September 4, 2011

What is Courage?

I watched the below YouTube video and tears just kept rolling uncontrollably down my cheek. I thought of how courageous the mother was to take on two children whom she knew will face big challenges in life. She took them in, gave them a home, a mother's love, all knowing that she could have easily walked away from all of this and had an easier life. But she was courageous... She faced it all knowing that, despite the hardships, she would provide a better life for these two boys fulfilling her own in the process. What an amazing woman! Kind of reminds me of Leigh Anne Tuohy.

I thought of the bravery and the courage of the two brothers who had to face the unknown in a new world away from the people who shared their language and culture. They had to face a life knowing that they were found in a box abandoned by their family. I am not sure what circumstances were for the family who put them in the shoe box... But maybe they were courageous in their own way knowing that they were unable to provide for two physically challenged boys in the dreadful environment they were in during that time and therefore felt that they would have a better chance being raised by someone else.

All this made me think of the different types of courage....what is courage?

Courage on the Internet ( is defined as

"the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery".

My definition of courage is based on my own personal perception of it... my own or my family's experiences.  But are we courageous on a daily basis or is it just when we face difficult situations? 

Am I courageous when I have to fight my loving motherly instincts and discipline my child guiding him/her on how to behave and be kind? Am I courageous when facing a man smoking under a non-smoking sign asking him to put his cigarette out? Am I courageous when I stand up for what I believe in and say the truth no matter what the circumstances were? 

What do you think?


Birdie said...

I would say courage is this "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., even though that person is scared".

db said...

The tears are very familiar; so sad, and yet so positive an outcome. I hope he is able to help the world toward peace. The mother is so courageous, it is good to see she has so much support for her efforts.

There is nothing more courageous than offering kindness that may not be reciprocated.

I am glad that you asked rather than told the smoker to stop. Wise (and kind).

I think it is good to think of the desired consequences (outcomes) when standing up for what we believe in, remembering that other's have a right to believe differently (even though we know they are wrong ;-). Not everyone is as blessed with such a profound appreciation for the plight of others, so courage, perhaps first, requires understanding.

paula devi said...

I have to come back about courage Lana. I am speechless and moved beyond all the boundaries by that film. So much whirling inside me.

Jan said...

Beautiful post Lana. I had to come back to post a comment as I had no words at all when I first watched it. I still have nothing to say that needs to be said. But will ramble just a little. I agree with Birdie about courage - not no fear but despite fear. I also don't think we can compare courage - it is different for each person. We also do not know what we are capable of until unspeakable things happen. All I know is that I am in awe of many people's courage. All around me are courageous people, every day I hear people's stories and I think to you are incredible just for smiling. That you are still here walking and talking, telling me your story. How do you get up every morning? How have you overcome all of that? Yes lana I agree, it is there in everyday choices and actions too. Other people might not judge something as courageous. I hear people all the time making judgements(probably me too) about other's,why doesn't he/she just stop doing/start doing xyz....or why is this person or that person behaving in this way or that way....we do not know what they are facing...either internal or external circumstances. rambling and probably going off at a tangent. So I'll say thank you for your post again. Inspriring.

paula devi said...

So, after dwelling in the fog land for far too many days, I am back with you with my thoughts about courage. I believe it has slightly different deffinitions for different people but in the end comes down to the same thing. These two boys. They have imbedded themselves into my heart on so many levels. One of them is a kind of guilt by association. The senseless war the United States began in their country and in Afganistan - Freedom isn't death and suffering. Somehow, I will never believe it had anything to do with helping anyone but greed mongers.

Watching them, I was in awe of their resiliance, their hearts and how they remained open to love through all the horror. I thought about their mother. How much love she had to have given them, how much of a sense of worth that love instilled in them.

So what is courage, fearlessness - moving through whatever is thrown in your path, what ever losses you sustain. Courage maybe the quality that emerges when love is larger than fear. It moves these boys through life, it instinctively sends a person into danger to save another.

So does it follow through that love is always at the center, the root? How we must give it in order for us all to survive as a genuine humanity. The word love has become so trite - it's Valentines Day or a tiny picture of a heart, it's used so carelessly. Do we ever come close to feeling what love really is - It's a burning bush - It's the substance that God created every living thing out of. Impossible to fathom. But it is what we are made of - when we find it in ourselves, we are so much more than just ourselves. Herein lies the source of courage.

I don't know if any of the above comes close. I'm babbling or speaking in tongues. So I will attempt to stop. Somethings can have not definition in words - Like God's love and support - if we honor and accept it. There are no words for this.