Friday, April 12, 2013

Some Thoughts on Courage

Fear is among the basest of human emotion and experience.  It is a given, a constant, a known.  It can enable us to empathize with others' plights, to recognize and acknowledge scary situations that befall those around us, close and distant.

We can become all too comfortable within our fears, allowing them to control us and inhibit us from reaching for our dreams and potential.  Or we can harness those fears as motivators to do better, to make waves, to work towards progress, even to pave the way towards a different response in the future by reacting with courage to stand up for ourselves and others...

Unbeknownst to many, I struggle with social anxiety and often feel isolated, judged and villified whether or not I truly am.  Sometimes I succumb to this anxiety, but other times I am able to overcome it.  I try to counteract my fear by diving in headfirst, by forcing myself to reconcile it by putting myself and my art out there as far as I can, reaching for and embracing the extreme, and openly speaking my mind.

In putting myself so out there, I often elicit the response of, "I could never do that."  But too few people realize that they can, and do, just that on a daily basis - they counteract their fears by putting themselves out there in contrast to them, by continuing to live their lives and fight for what they need and feel is right.  We are all far braver, stronger and more resilient than we realize. 

A quote by an unknown author defines courage as "quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty or danger without fear."  I agree but beg to differ somewhat; I perceive courage as "quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty or danger despite fear."  Essentially, how we respond to and what we make of our fears is up to us.

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