Saturday, June 24, 2006


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

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

Courage does not mean foolhardily taking on challenges without thinking or more importantly without planning. "Planning without action is futile. Action without planning is fatal."

Courage means there is a overriding goal which prompts us to keep that in the sight and rest all on the side. We consciously decide that the goal is worth the risk that we are going to take. All the wood that we put behind that arrow is the courage. Courage works best when focused. As ordinary sunlight when focused using a lens generate enough heat to burn a paper, same thing is true with courage. Courage scattered is no courage.

Does being courageous means inflexible? Not at all. Courage means being focused on the goal not on the means so much. The means have to be right of course. Once we have made sure that means are right, we do have to be flexible about the means. If we are not flexible, all the courage might come to a naught.

Courage is not fancy rhetoric such as "we are willing to die for our cause." Courage should be able to take objective a look and be able to say "I will kill for my cause if required."

Some of the best examples courage come from the biographies of decorated soldiers. One that comes to mind is by veteran Israeli commando Moshe Betser. Betser was part of many daring operations including 'spring of youth' in which crack commandos burst right into the bedrooms of top Palestinian guerrillas in Beirut and killed them in retaliation the role those people had played in Munich 72 massacre. Another operation was that of rescuing hijacked plane which had been routed  to Entebbe, Uganda. Betser describes  both operations so meticulously and makes several good points such as what was real courage and what was sheer foolhardiness.


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