Courage calls upon a person to keep moving on even in the face of hopelessness or obstacles. In the society, there are many changes occurring and one can choose to both panic and fear to confront the change or choose to draw upon inner self and move forward. Rollo May says that one must have courage in order to live a meaningful life in the society. Courage, he insists, is not just one emotion among others, but the foundation on which all other virtues and values rest.
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Types of courage
Courage is a fundamental emotion that every human being must possess. It enables one to exist meaningfully in the society and have the ability to bring change in the society and self.
Physical courage entails the use of one’s body to show sympathy and cultivate empathy. People with physical courage make a sacrifice every time they choose to exhibit this type of courage. They put their bodies at risk for the sake of others. For instance, in case of a fire fighters walk into burning buildings to try to save lives of people they do not even know.
They risk injuries or even death and to do so they must have physical courage otherwise they would fear putting themselves at risk for others. Another instance that demonstrates physical courage in the recent time is the efforts of the workers in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant who have been working to stop the emission of radioactive fumes.
They have put their lives at risk and some may even die due to the effects of the radioactive fumes but they had the physical courage to stay and stop the leak after the area and been evacuated. Other instances of courage are exhibited by ordinary people everyday such as when a father or mother takes a risk for the sake of protecting their children.
To make meaningful intimacy one requires social courage. It enables one to put one’s self out there in order to create relationships with other people. Developing relationships calls for an investment of a person’s time and emotions.
The investment may not pay off and so a person must be willing to take the risk of failing and encountering rejection. When a person lacks social courage, they can become loners and feel very isolated. Thus, one must be willing to overcome fear and interact with other people even those that are often neglected by others because they are seen to be different.
A person must also be willing to be tolerant of other people because people come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs and mannerisms. Moreover, an individual must have the social courage to accommodate others and make their lives easier because everyone has the need of the sense of belonging. Social courage also helps parents who have children with disabilities take care of them without shame of being ridiculed in the society.
They accept their children’s condition and do not hide them from the public. In so doing they bring up children who are not ashamed of their disabilities and they can have the courage to integrate in the society and lead meaningful lives. Such parents are only able to accept such children because they have social courage.
Moral courage helps a person to say no to violence. Violence comes in various forms such as psychological, spiritual and physical. People often condone various forms of violence because they lack the moral courage to take a stand against violence.
For instance, many people will stand by and watch a parent abusing their children or spouses but will not take any action because they fear getting involved in what they consider none of their business. Other people will have knowledge about planned violence but will not report to relevant persons for fear of being found out.
Moral courage is a virtue that many people fear to exercise for fear of being called meddlers but if people choose to exercise this courage so many forms of violence that happen in the society would be stopped and fewer people would suffer. For example, if people had moral courage they would blow the whistle on planned activities such as terrorists’ acts. Imagine the number of lives that would have been saved if one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks had had the courage to report the plan before hand.
The creative courage enables one to come up with ways of changing the society. A person who has creative courage can choose to go against the majority and do something different that is right.
For instance, in today’s society sex and drugs are very popular especially in the pop culture women are objectified and taken only as sex objects. An artist can come up with songs that are free of women representing sex even though they may not be a hit.
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By choosing to a road, that few would such a person can make a difference and show that people do not need to have dirty music and videos to produce good music. They can incorporate a message that challenges the use of drugs or sex and in this way; they can bring about a positive change among the people in society. Through creative courage one can defy violence and even death in the society by coming up with new ideas to tackle the problem. In so doing, one also exhibits moral courage and social courage.
Moreover, through creative courage people have come up with ideas that have helped to transform the society. For example, people who have come up with ideas of building green houses that help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases thought of a creative idea and had the courage to follow it until it materialized.
Others have created beautiful songs, movies, poems, books among others that people appreciate. If such people did not have the courage to come up with the ideas and persist in making them a reality, we would be missing many beautiful things in life.
Courage is paramount in life. Courage has enabled people to stand for things they believed were right even in the face of opposition and triumphed. Some have stopped evils and helped through moral courage making the society a better place to live in and safe for humanity.
Through courage, humanity is preserved and given an opportunity to advance. It therefore means that without courage it would be very difficult for the people in the society to live meaningful lives. Every person must strive to attain courage because it is the fundamental virtue in living meaningful lives. Through exercising courage, we not only make the lives of those who surround us better, but also our own.