Courage - Essay Example

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It is decidedly easier to analyze an entire phrase or idea than it is to reduce the concept of "courage" to its basic components. The definition and requirements of courage vary from individual to individual and culture to culture.
Many arguments regarding courage have raged about in the media and in discourses and debates; differing ideologies collide and make for thought provoking conversations, yet in the end, one's own definition of courage remains intact as new ideas are digested into its structure…
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Download file to see previous pages Yet courage is most often unseen, unknown outside of the individual, and even discounted by the person who has exercised it.
The idea of courage is simple, and contained within its simplicity are innumerable layers of degree. We can examine courage on the level of the physical, psychological or spiritual yet in every layer there exists the essence of courage, which we will attempt to prove in this essay.
Let us first look at the very definition of courage: "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty" (Mirriam-Webster dictionary). We take note of the words "mental" and "moral." This is the very difference between a simple act of survival in the face of danger and the decision to face the danger itself, whether physical or psychological (moral).
According to numerous studies, the root fear of humanity is expulsion from society. We are social animals with a tendency toward interdependence. In our modern age, we face the danger of one kind of rejection or other in our daily lives. This is amply demonstrated across the social spectrum from Royalty to the poor; public opinion matters greatly on every stratum of class. To put one's standing in jeopardy in the workplace, in the public eye or in the family is a grave, possible consequence of courage. The loss of employment, social status or family ties is a very real threat; this is where courage is delineated from brashness or reckless behavior.
Courage, therefore, involves a very real assessment of potential hazards and consequences before the action is executed. The act of courage displays itself in a spectrum of intensity, yet it does not require that other people (including the individual who commits the courageous act) acknowledge the result.
As before stated, the very concept of courage is different in different cultures. One example would the modern suicide bombers who are convinced that by bringing the 'infidels' to a halt they are dying for a cause and will take their rightful place with Allah upon completing their act. To those of us who do not subscribe to this mind-set, we see such people as terrorists who have been brainwashed into actions that no civilized person would commit. To take one's own life for a cause such as this does not define courage in our culture. In another example, in a disaster that involves flying debris a mother throws herself over her child and perishes in the act but saves the child. Our culture would define this as 'decisive action in the face of fear or danger.'
Let us look for a moment at Charles, Prince of Wales. Was his marriage to Mrs. Parker-Bowles an act of courage Many would say it was, under the criterion of "having the strength to move forward in spite of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Wonderful paper! Used it to complete an assignment for a psychology course. It was easy as ABC, for the first time in my life.


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