The present paper has sampled the various definitions of courage to illuminate some of the concept’s most important components as applied in contemporary contexts. The components of courage covered in this paper include experiencing fear yet choosing to act, following one’s heart or wishes, persisting in the face of adversity, standing up for what is right and just, and expanding one’s horizons.
The word “courage” has over the years evolved to imply different meanings in diverse contexts or environments, and also to serve as a benchmark for evaluating brave encounters.
Indeed, from the Bible to prehistoric fables and contemporary Hollywood-oriented narratives, the concept of courage has found wide usage in a society that has always idolized bravery and self-sacrifice, rather than fear and uncertainty. By providing varied definitions of courage, this paper aims to illuminate some of the attributes which have always endeared the concept to human beings.
Courage has been defined as the capability to engage in an ordeal that frightens an individual irrespective of the outcomes of such engagement. In this respect, the first attribute of courage can be explained in terms of choosing to act in the face of fear (Greenberg, 2012).
It is this attribute that made great men such as Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs conquer their fears and proceed to make history. Nelson Mandela was, by all means, afraid of spending his whole life in solitary confinement; however, he chose to speak out against apartheid at great personal risk and went ahead to win millions of supporters worldwide.
Courage has also been defined as a resolve made by individuals to follow their wishes, irrespective of the difficulties that might be encountered ahead. In this respect, the second attribute of courage can be conceptualized from the perspective of following one’s heart or wishes (Greenberg, 2012).
Indeed, from personal experience, it can be argued that the passion for succeeding in future career endeavors ignited the urge to discover new things and to read more. Equally, the passion of Steve Jobs to follow his heart brought immense breakthroughs in the technology and communications domains.
Moving on, it is no secret that courage has been defined as the capacity and willingness of individuals to persevere or persist in the face of immense adversity. Based on this definition, it can be argued that the third attribute of courage revolves around persevering or persisting in the face of adversity (Greenberg, 2012).
This attribute underscores the need for individuals to not only strengthen themselves in spite of the looming danger but also to develop a resolve to walk through their obstacles instead of cowering before them. Great sporting personalities such as Michael Jordan, Mohammed Ali, Marlin Briscoe, and Lisa Leslie underwent a lot of segregation and discrimination in a predominantly White-dominated American community; however, they persisted in the face of these inequalities to succeed in life.
Another definition of courage revolves around fighting for what is right and just in the society in a selfless manner (Greenberg, 2012). Indeed, society has witnessed instances where men have stood up against evils such as pollution, animal poaching, as well as the development of weapons of mass destruction. Drawing from this exposition, it is argued that the fourth attribute of courage entails standing up for what is right and just in a society that is predominantly characterized by evil and self-defeating actions.
Lastly, it is a well-known fact that courageous people are known to expand their horizons by letting go of the familiar in order to discover new and exciting challenges (Greenberg, 2012). A major corollary of this definition is that it has always assisted people in discovering new phenomena and ways of life as they attempt to expand their horizons.
Overall, this paper has sampled the various definitions of courage to illuminate some of the concept’s most important components as applied in contemporary contexts. From the discussion, it is evident that the concept of courage has numerous definitions and implications for individuals and society.
Greenberg, M. (2012). The six attributes of courage. Web.