According to the Oxford dictionary, courage is "the ability to do something that frightens one" OR "strength in the face of pain or grief". It can also be seen as the willingness to do or confront something difficult such as agony, pain, uncertainty or intimidation even when there is a clear risk. Eddie Rickenbacker opined "Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage when you're scared." .
Courage is such an envious attribute of good character that makes us worthy of respect. From the Bible to fairy tales, ancient myths to Hollywood movies, our culture and world is rich with exemplary tales of bravery and self-sacrifice for the greater good. From the cowardly lion in the wizard of Oz who finds the courage to face the witch, to David battling Goliath in the Bible to Star Wars and the famous Harry Potter, we are all raised on a diet of heroic and inspirational tales.

Courage is what makes an amputee reject pity and continue to take life by the throat. It's what forces every married couple having trouble, never to say, "let's terminate." It's what keeps a nation free in spite of attacks.
Are you ready to run when the heat rises?. About to quit?. Everyday, in some way, either in our workplaces, schools, homes etc, your courage will be tested. It is therefore never an exaggeration if we say it is an everyday and everytime virtue of life.

Yet Courage is not just all about physical bravery. History books tell colorful tales of social activities such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela who chose to speak out against injustice at great personal risks. Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Walt Disney who took financial risks to follow their dreams and innovations are like modern-day knights exemplifying the rewards and public accolades that courage can bring.

Even though courage exist in various forms or different types ranging from physical strength and Endurance to mental stamina and innovation which are all interwoven and pointing towards the same direction. It is an endearing virtue and people who possess it share some characteristics which I call the Elements of Courage. They remain as guideposts through life journey

The Elements of Courage
Self-confidence. Courageous people believe in themselves. They know who they are and what they stand for.

Conviction. You always know where courageous people stand. They're passionate about their beliefs and values and have consistent and predictable behavior.

Integrity. Courageous people know the difference between right and wrong. They don't just talk about honour, they live it everyday, backing their words with action.

Leadership: Courageousness people aren't deterred by adversity or afraid of what people may think of them.

Compassion. Courageous people put other people's needs ahead of their own.

Objectivity: Courageous people believe that people are willing to make tough decisions if the options are presented to them in an open, honest and objective manner.

Strength in Adversity: Courageous people aren't afraid of swimming against the tide or challenging the status quo. They stare adversity in the eye, running towards the problem to attack it.

Change Masters: Courageous people step outside their comfort zone to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Embrace the unknown:  Courageous people follow their intuition. If information required to make a good decision isn't available, they follow their instincts.

Action:Courageous  people put their money where their mouth is. They know that it's not enough to talk about doing something instead they act.

In conclusion, courage is such a virtue that seems to be quite important and relevant in our modern and daily lives as the air we breathe. It has even been called the most important virtue because without it there will be many failures to enact other virtues. It unlocks the treasure box of every other virtue. Thus, the importance of courage in lay understanding of virtuous human action is pervasive throughout recorded history.

Written by:
Ifediogor Uche

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