I think C.S. Lewis got it right in the Screwtape Letters, when he wrote, “Courage is not simply one of the Virtues, but the form of every Virtue at its testing point…”.
I have really enjoyed writing about single words and their relevance in my life. I, like most writers, love words and their individual significance, which of course could have varying degrees of importance, depending on culture, religion and a number of other variables.
I love that it makes me look deeper into the meaning and my personal usage of a word and what they’ve meant to others throughout history. As you can imagine, courage is a word that has been revered and widely used throughout history. As a word, it stands as a pillar of strength, power and bravery.
Like most Virtues, courage is also a word that, I believe, has been overused, under played and simply or generally misunderstood by the masses as well. All too often words are used like minor details without any thought of ownership or “the big picture” in which a grouping of words is only but a small piece of the puzzle. I’m just as guilty as anyone, in terms of this, so writing about individual words is both like; disecting it under a microscope and looking for the missing pieces of the bigger picture.
When I think of courage I think of many things, as I believe it comes in many forms, both bold and subtle and isn’t much good without other words like; humility, vulnerability, logic and passion. I think of American History and the many wars we’ve engaged in with courage. I think of a parent protecting a child or an individual standing firm for truth and justice, in spite of the odds being against them. There are many noble acts to choose from.
I also believe that courage can be derailed by a single word like….Pride.
As I’ve written before, I believe the motivation and intention behind any action or inaction should be taken into serious and honest consideration. While pride can be a possitive thing when coupled with humility, pride is also an egregious opinion of superiority. This is probably part of the reason it’s also known as one of the 7 Deadly Sins….ever hear of hubris…?
“Courage is not simply a Virtue, but is the form of every Virtue at its testing point…” -C.S. Lewis
Hmmm….think about that, it’s so true.
How can any other Virtue exist without first having the courage to open oneself up to let them in and then begin acting upon them?
Now think further….after we’ve taken those first courageous steps and have learned the value of other Virtues and have placed them among our most treasured qualities. I’ll use Love and Trust for this embryonic thought.
How much courage does it take to set aside or push through the fear and try again, once a betrayal of love or trust has occurred? It’s a HUGE amount and many times very difficult.
What changes when you inject Pride into the equation? We can be pretty sure that pride was somewhere romanticizing with betrayal before the betrayal actually happened.
How often does pride creep in on the betrayed, only to offer false or a malnourished sense of courage that can only tailspin into revenge or a dozen other unproductive, self defeating actions?
Let’s remove ourselves from that nasty rabbit hole, called Pride….it’s not a nice place to get lost.
Courage is a Virtue to be revered and venerated for sure, a powerful thing. It’s also on my list of qualities that I aspire to embody. I tend to believe that it’s stongest and most beautiful use is in the quiet stillness of life changing moments.
Somehow, I don’t feel quite as courageous as I did before writing this….
Is there courage in admitting that?
I suppose it’s all just words for thought.
To the courageous journey,
📚The Crazy Celt 💚