Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mindset: Courage

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Jos 1:9)

Richard, the Norman king of England, bore the French nickname couer de leon (heart of lion). In fact, our English word courage descended from the very same French word for heart.

In this sense, heart does not so much refer to the organ that pumps blood as it does to the center, the essential core (which may also come from couer) of one's being. Thus we might think of courage as "core-age".

Merriam-Webster defines courage as follows:

: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

Simply put, courage is strength at the core.

I am put in mind of a scene from The Magnificent Seven in which two boys from the Mexican village speak with the Hispano/Irish gunfighter, Bernardo O'Reilly(played by Charles Bronson). When the boys refer to their fathers as cowards, Bernardo turns each one over his knee for a spanking and then lectures them on how their fathers go to the fields day after day, enduring hardship and disappointment in order to feed their families. He ends with the words, "I never had that kind of courage."

To be continued

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