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“It takes a  great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”    Dumbledore, Harry Potter

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”  ~Mark Twain

“People are made of flesh and blood and a miracle fiber called courage.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin,

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”  ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one.”  ~Lauren Raffo

In order to accomplish just about anything in life, you need courage. Surprisingly, we all have varying degrees of it at any given time. When young athletes are anxious to play rather than always sitting on the bench, they must muster the courage to approach the coach and also be able to take the rejection. The important thing is they stood up for themselves. Speaking to a teacher regarding an academic issue can render the same kind of frustration and anxiety.Teens who are forced to make decisions going against peer pressure require a lot of guts to do so. They likely don’t receive the amount of credit they deserve in such situations. As parents, we don’t stop to think of the multitude of situations that required our teens to stand strong against the coercion of friends or classmates.  In a similar incident, many teenagers are anxious to enter the dating scene and the demands and awkward situations that arise force some teens into  critical spur of the moment, decisions. Courage in making the correct choice is again a necessity. Even those teens attempting to request dates are wandering into an untraveled realm. It calls for a brand new type of bravery.

Throughout our lives we are called upon to make choices that are really testing our mettle. As much as we want to be strong, succumbing to the demands of others can leave us wallowing in worry and  our failure to overcome the hassle from other people. Many of us resent ourselves  for surrendering our own decision to the hands of another. Parents beat themselves up over losing patience with kids. They never consider the times they held their patience.

As parents perhaps  it is crucial we observe the numerous pitfalls our teenagers face every day. They are heroes often even when we are not aware of it. Adulthood brings it’s own set of problems. A nagging wife or inattentive husband can cause spouses havoc at work. Other people searching for a good time or their own love, may find these vulnerable souls and set the stage for affairs. Probably it begins innocently but once started, may develop into a situation that eventually blows up in everyone’s face. That is the crazy part. Sometimes we don’t look to see where the decisions we make, will lead us until it is too late.

These kinds of circumstances demand our resolve which begins with courage and all the muster we can call upon. Most of us think of guts as running into a burning building, or facing an enemy in battle. We discount without a thought, the tremendous amount of moments in our lives that command guts and daring action. The moments we want to do the right thing like not eating the cake when we are dieting, require all the resolve we can muster. It takes courage to act in a moral way. It takes mettle to accept and deal with health problems of our  own or those close to us. It takes bravery to patiently wait for pregnancies, dates, jobs, money, and other mainstream desires. Guts is paramount in dealing with losing a loved one.

How about those times we lie to save our own skin, or when we blame others because we don’t want to face the trouble. Times we want to get ahead so, we cheat in some manner. The list can go on forever but the fact is we compromise our values frequently throughout our lives. It isn’t like we plan to do it. It just happens when we least expect it and we have no time to think things over so we fall. Picking ourselves up and trying again takes resolve. Forget about the mistakes, focus on the mindset of mustering the guts to do it better the next time.

How often do people get jobs based on who they know or the money they can offer through grants. Some people in small towns as well as cities, influence those who make the decisions to hire their sons and daughters for jobs beating out other candidates who may be more qualified. Nobody sees this as cowardly. I look at this as providing strength to those who have no connections so they  work even harder to enter through the front door.

The courage it takes to ignore the petty behaviors of others makes us stronger. At the time it may not feel like that. There is courage in receiving as well as in giving. We admire those who have the audacity and daring to speak up about the wrongs committed. It is also courageous to be able to sit down and listen to the reasoning and woes of others. Those seeking understanding and peace are not as impressive in their actions. Their is still just as much bravery in speaking up about injustices at any level in society and for any group, large or small. Even one person’s pain makes it worth the effort.

There is courage in all of us.  Most if not all of us muster our bravery daily. Our countless acts perhaps are performed without much thought. We likely take no notice of those moments we decided wisely. I know we exhibit so much more bravery than we give ourselves credit for. Courage is within all of us. It is not a unique attribute of the rich, poor, powerful or needy. It is within everyone great or small young or old.

At any given moment we have the capacity to make a difference in our own lives as well as the lives of others. Lives are changed by our ability or inability to use our courage. The fact that we refrain from speaking or doing the right thing during one episode in our lives, cannot render us incapacitated to demonstrate audacity and nerve in another situation. Life takes courage to survive every day.

Fear is not something to be ashamed of. It may always be present, but it should not deter or defeat us. Fear just makes us more resolved and alert to problems. Without fear animals don’t survive. The smart animals are full of fear, which technically fills them with the courage to successfully survive another day. At times, fear may win over courage, but just search again for your bravery and let it take root.  Remember the countless times you may have forgotten, when you exhibited great strength against the odds. I would guess that may have been today.

“The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.”  ~John F. Kennedy

“One man with courage makes a majority.”  ~Andrew Jackson

“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if you have to dig a little.”  ~Tori Amos

“If there’s one thing that I pray for, As I live my daily life, It’s that I may be courageous When I’m faced with bitter strife!… So, I humbly pray for courage To be with me morn and night,  Through the coldness of the Winter And the Summer’s bright sunlight! ”   Gertrude T. Buckingham,

“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned.  When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”  ~Mark Twain

“Courage ought to have eyes as well as arms.”  ~H.G. Bohn

“Perfect courage means doing unwitnessed what we would be capable of with the world looking on.”  ~François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

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