Without Fear

Courage

Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”

John Wayne

Without fear, courage is meaningless. When we or, someone we love, is in danger or in pain, when our way of life is threatened, or when we experience loss and suffering, that is the moment everything changes.  There is an immediate awareness that the only option before us is courage.

Fear is part of our human experience.  At some point we will all feel the wrenching emotion; avoidance is not an option. Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”  This was echoed by Nelson Mandela.  “I have learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

We build our lives with protective mechanisms to circumvent danger and tragedy. We search for security in a world of uncertainty.  Perhaps, we do not recognize the generous amounts of courage that resides deep within our souls.

Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

Helen Keller

 

29 thoughts on “Without Fear

    • Whoever said it, was absolutely right! And here is a another thought to consider: Plato said, “Courage is knowing what not to fear.” Thank you for adding to this discussion – so much appreciated…

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  1. Hmm.. I think one has to let go of fear.. that’s the “triumph” – because people who are afraid rarely act well and in a rational way when they are stressed… Thank you for providing me with food for thought, although it’s still a little early in the morning for me😛

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    • And you have provided me with a great insight just before I say goodnight (it’s after midnight in Vancouver) Fear does indeed create irrational thought and behaviour – so to triumph over fear means that you accept the what is in front of you and move forward…

      Have a great day!

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  2. I am not sure that we conquer fear or master it or resist it, because fear/insecurity is always present and to be ever alert to it and conquering it would make us very tired and battle weary. Perhaps, courage is admitting or allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to fear and accepting that we will handle it/manage it. That’s easy to say until one is face to face with fear and legs have turned to jelly🙂 As usual, your post gives me much to think about.

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    • You are so right. Humanity, as a whole, is risk averse. We live with the fight or flight response all our lives. I agree that it is in the acceptance of fear that we learn how to, as you say, handle and manage it. I also think that having family and friends boosts our courage “resources.” You always make my day….

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  3. I like that quote of Helen Keller, I had it pinned on a board for years. To remind me, that fear should not stop me from doing want I want most. Thanks for this post, Clanmother. You put me on revivaltour of my past.
    Have a lovely day.
    Dina

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    • And you made my day just with your visit! I remember when I was involved in a strategy meeting a few years ago about risk management. There was a great deal of dialogue and a lot of concern. Finally, I read this same Helen Keller quote. The entire discussion came to a halt for a few seconds. Then, there was a complete change in the room. It seemed that everyone recognized that courage had to be included within our plans.

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  4. Yesterday Vice President Biden of the US awarded the Medal of Valor to brave firefighters and policemen. These men and women performed courageous acts that most of us could never imagine doing…..or perhaps we would. We might never know as most of us do not meet the kinds of situations that firefighters or policemen meet.

    But we all have times that need courage. Times when we take a big breath and do what we have to do. Most of those times probably are not life threatening but could be life changing. We may not want to do it.

    Courage is not limited to heroic deeds. Sometimes just getting up out of bed and facing the day takes physical courage for many.

    I agree with another commenter that you always give us something to think about. 🙂

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    • Well said! I especially appreciated when you said that facing the day takes physical courage for many. It is putting one foot ahead of the other. It is accepting one moment at a time, knowing that the journey is not for the faint hearted. Thank you for joining the dialogue! Your visits are very much welcomed.

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    • A very good analogy and a great visualization image to think about when I am in the middle of a crises. I will think of a watering can used to sprinkle a flower garden. Thank you!!

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  5. Another great post, this is so true, we must have the courage to try new things or embrace all that is given to us. What an amazing photograph too I can look at it for days I can see all the texture the green and the beauty in that immense vastness.

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    • Doris – you make my day pure sunshine!!! I especially like the word “try.” Sometimes we don’t try because we think that we won’t succeed. We don’t take the risk and then – we never know what we have missed.

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  6. “Security is mostly a superstition”
    It takes a life less ordinary to experience this blatant fact. What follows is the preparedness to deal with come what may, a magical transition.
    Fear eventually leads to fearlessness.

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  7. Your beautiful post has me thinking back to a conversation I had with a friend after the Sandy Hook School shooting in December. Trying to find anything positive in such a horrific situation, we discussed the bravery of the first responders who charged into that building without knowledge of what awaited them. We talked about the teachers that ran, toward and stood up to that shooter, unarmed, in an effort to protect the innocents in their charge. And then we talked about the parents and how, without doubt, any one of them would have ran bare fisted into that school without hesitation to reach their children. The necessity for courage has far more power than fear.

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    • Your words are a profound tribute to this courageous community. I especially like when you wrote:”the necessity for courage has far more power than fear.” Thank you so much for stopping by and joining the dialogue. Your presence is much appreciated.

      “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment
      that something else is more important than fear.”
      – Ambrose Redmoon

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