Courage

It’s a sad thing about courage that it generally comes attached to enough modesty that nobody sees it.

Most courageous acts don’t occur in front of a crowd.  Most times somebody takes a metaphorical bullet for someone else it’s not by jumping in front of them in slow motion – it’s behind-the-scenes.  Quietly.

Courage is quiet more often than not.

 

  • Albert Bakker

    I don’t know about anyone else, but this leaves me thinking you’ve done something you’re proud of. If so that’s really great. Or you know someone who doesn’t know you know she did and that would be even better.

  • jaranath

    “No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his brother. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame. For one person, in the dark…where no one will ever know…or see.”

  • http://www.improbablejoe.blogspot.com Improbable Joe

    Or competence… leading me to brag about how awesome I am!

    Or not. I’ll not brag, but once when I was in the Marines I got a pretty big honor for what I thought was just doing my job, and not even doing that hard of a job. After I got it, a lot of people talked a lot of trash about me for not really having earned it. A semi-random person of much higher rank pulled me aside one day to talk to me about it. I’d never talked to him about all the crap I’d been taking, but he heard about it and thought it was important enough to say something. What he said to me was:

    “You’ve done a few jobs for me, and I’ve seen the work you do for other people and I know your work ethic. You got that medal because those other folks saw the work you do too. And maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal what you did that day, but that award is also for all the work you did that nobody saw, and nobody watched you do.”

    Maybe it is always luck when someone sees you and recognizes you, but maybe it is also that the people who are most often seen and recognized are doing worthwhile things all the time, and are just doing what comes naturally when someone catches them in the act.

    • Zengaze

      Medals make good beer trades for when you run out of tokens ;)

  • Zengaze

    Enough of the old sage routine, you’re too young for that. So spill. Did you throw yourself on top of a grenade and save your squad in BF3?

  • Larry

    It may not be a sad thing about courage JT. Many who do things courageously in the back ground may not otherwise do so if it came with fame. For many, fame is extremely dibilitating…it could be a phobia, I don’t know, but attention anxiety is certainly real. For those who don’t have attention anxiety and can deliver a great speech in front of a large crowd, then a certain measure of fame is inescapable and I’m greatful for those. Some are only comfortable when they are before a crowd, I think it’s pretty well balanced. The crowd needs the speaker and vice-versa.

  • John Morales

    It’s a sad thing about courage that it generally comes attached to enough modesty that nobody sees it.

    I very much doubt this claim.

    Courage is quiet more often than not.

    This reiteration is otiose and yields no more weight to that claim.

    • Richard

      ôo
      I’ve seen that “claim” often enough that I have no reason to doubt its existence. Humans are pretty damn cool, and the ones I hang around tend to do these types of quiet courage that JT describes. Frankly, you must live a sad life to doubt that these sort of things occur. It’s like doubting that strangers can give each other a friendly smile. Small but helps make life worth living.

      John, do you need a hug?

      • John Morales

        The claim is not just that there’s some sort of strong correlation between courage and modesty, but further that most acts of courage aren’t seen as such by others because of that very modesty.

        Your own basis for lack of doubt—that you’ve heard it claimed sufficiently often and that it seems plausible and noble to you—is less than compelling.

        Humans are pretty damn cool, and the ones I hang around tend to do these types of quiet courage that JT describes.

        Perhaps so, but that’s not the subject at hand; also, if you noticed such instances of modest courage, they did not go unseen, did they?

        It’s like doubting that strangers can give each other a friendly smile.

        I would doubt the claim that strangers generally give each other a friendly smile as an universal claim, too; I would not doubt that they can do so.

        • Richard

          …so you do need a hug mr.grouch-a-saurus? I made no claims that stranger smiles are universal, mr. strawman. Same applies to JT or my statement about quiet courage. Frankly, they don’t go unnoticed if I search for people with this particular trait to be friends with.

          Your own basis for doubt, that you don’t like the idea, that somehow quiet courage is somehow offensive is also less than compelling.

          My argument wasn’t that it wasn’t something I found plausible, but a behavior I observe and seek out in others. The assumption then is of course I find it plausible, because it’s a behavior I’ve seen before, same with the stranger smile. Far from a universal aspect of humanity for both traits, I’ve found them to be marginally rare and worth the effort as a behavior to cultivate.

          • John Morales

            Indeed.

            Your claim was an universal can, the claim to which I was responding was an unquantified is, so that you referring to me as “mr. strawman” is ironic.

            My argument wasn’t that it wasn’t something I found plausible, but a behavior I observe and seek out in others.

            What part of “I would doubt the claim that strangers generally give each other a friendly smile as an universal claim, too; I would not doubt that they can do so” was opaque to you?

            (You don’t see how I’m contrasting your supposed analogical instance to its supposed analogue?)

            PS Since you’re so inquisitive, no, I need no hug; you have utterly misread my emotional state and are unaware that I find hugging strangers (or even acquaintances) something I at most tolerate, rather than enjoy.

  • http://reasonableconversation.wordpress.com Kaoru Negisa

    Courage is something we apply to acts after the fact a lot of the time as well. The most courageous people I know consider their actions to be no less than the bare minimum one should expect of another human being. It’s when we later look back, having noticed those actions, that we can call them courageous.


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