Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Courageous vs. Scared


When to stand firm? It’s a question of judgment. One thing we know, that single individuals who resist fear, who harness its energy and see its potential, do prevail. In the course, they encounter resistance, most frequently from others who have cowered to fear and coalesced. Courage is not superhuman, but a decision of the moment for a moment. We think of courage as a reaction to threat, but it is more often a creator of life – holding the line, doing what’s right, without glory, without recognition. Courage builds in small increments, encouraging a person to go a little farther, hold on a little longer, be a little stronger. With enough in reserve, and no other choice, courage will suffice. Courage enhances performance in natural response to the threat. Determination, but not without reason, not without the knowledge to safely advise retreat if that is the only way to survive and fight another day. Those who fear losing power or being the victim of power are unlikely to exhibit courage. Those who say they are free of all fear are deluded. “True believers” possess a comfort which, when taken too far, may mutate and create offensive power to be unleashed on “non-believers.” History bears cautionary witness. Out of ignorance springs fear especially of the unknown. Courage is not a blunt instrument. It is informed. Tyranny is the enemy. Opinions are worth fighting for, but not at the cost of another’s right to state an opposing point of view. Each person’s burdens and hardships bear witness to the value of tolerance, survival and liberty.


One man with courage makes a majority.
Andrew Jackson

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
Mark Twain

There’s nothing I’m afraid of like scared people.
Robert Frost

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is, in addition to a courage with which men die, a courage by which men must live.
John F. Kennedy

We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you have no choice, mobilize the spirit of courage.
Jewish proverb

A wounded deer leaps the highest.
Emily Dickenson

My advice to you, if you should ever be in a hold up, is to line up with the cowards and save your bravery for an occasion when it may be of some benefit to you.
O. Henry

Fear is not an unknown emotion to us.
Neil Armstrong

It is not power that corrupts but fear. The fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who object to it.
Aung San Suu Kyi

Only the self-deceived will claim perfect freedom from fear.
Bill W.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.
Ps. 36:1-2

I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Ps. 34:4

Fear always springs from ignorance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.
Thomas Jefferson

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
Thomas Paine

Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them
Thomas Mann

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
John F. Kennedy

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