In Praise of a Virtue

Among the many virtues one can strive for I find courage of most value. Of course courage is most impressive when combined with wits, but intelligence without courage is something that leaves me underwhelmed.

Courage is required on so many levels, starting with observation: What do I dare to see in a situation? Lack of courage can be a dangerous filter on our perception. It goes on with evaluation: How do I dare to judge someone or something? Courage is related to generosity: What am I able to give? What can I forgive? What can I accept from others? It is also the most important ingredient in trust, and is such an essential part of love. Without courage there is no real freedom. What freedom do I have when I don’t dare to make use of it?

So courage is the one key to open so many doors. It has often been said that courage is not the absence of fear, but the overcoming of it. True enough. The last challenge to our courageousness is the passing of the final door that leads us out of our life. Death will come to all of us. It takes ultimate courage to look him straight into the eye. To see someone fighting this fight with openness and dignity is an incredible experience.

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