Courage is not the absence of fear, but the art of enduring

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the art of enduring

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher

People are often confused by the word “courage”.

Many believe it’s about physical strength and the absence of fear in their heart and their mind. But as Radmacher says in the above quote, “courage doesn’t always roar”. It’s often not some impressive act of heroism or intense bravery in the face of adversity.

No, many times courage is found during ordinary days and less than extraordinary circumstances.

Sadly we often dismiss just how courageous we all are because of how insignificant it may appear in the eyes of those always searching for sensational headlines and grandiose displays.

But I assure you, on any given day, we’re all being courageous. Maybe it’s a shy, insecure teenager who’s finally decided to audition for the school play; a middle-aged adult battling with signs of depression who’s finally decided to seek help; or the person starting a new job who struggles to adjust, but never gives up the fight.

Truthfully these and many others are about the strongest people I know – courageous beyond their own comprehension; enduring past what many others would fail at. Mignon McLaughlin once wrote, “The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.”

And that’s the lesson really. Courage is not about being the strongest or the bravest. It’s all about persistence and continuing the journey even when you find yourself overrun with doubts – from moment to moment; day to day.

I hope one day we all realize (myself included) just how courageous we all truly are. To be able to look back on the pages of our lives and be proud of the person who was able to endure the everyday, ordinary struggles life so often throws at us.

My favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers, once remarked, “There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”