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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Courage is the complement of fear. One who is fearless cannot be courageous is also a fool.....

Having no fear indicates a total absence of the emotion of fear, which is a scary prospect in itself. If someone has a total absence of fear, one judgement will be faulty in many situations. 

A total absence of fear is not a virtue, but rather a mental deficiency. 

Fear is a necessary emotion, designed to warn us and protect us. It is only when fear becomes obsessive, and we allow fear to control us, that fear becomes a problem.

Mark Twain wrote that,
 “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” 

If one has absolutely no capability to feel fear, then one really has no capacity for courage. Courage is overcoming our fears to do what is right in the face of some danger, uncertainty, pain, or embarrassment. 

A being who has no fear or anxiety where danger, uncertainty, or pain is concerned, has some other mental issues going on which make him seem brave, when in actuality, what one actions are revealing are simply one mental deficiencies. 

To call a person who is incapable of feeling fear brave could be compared to giving a two year old boy a hand grenade to play with as a toy. 
Of course the young boy would have no fear of the hand grenade because he do not have the intelligence to understand what it is or that it could hurt him. 
He do not have the knowledge or wisdom to understand what the dangers of this “toy” truly are, so he has no fear of it. 
It would be wrong to classify this boy as courageous or brave for playing with the hand grenade, when in fact, he is not displaying courage, but merely his ignorance.

The same principle applies to the man who is incapable of feeling fear. If a man does not have the wisdom to know what should be feared and what shouldn’t be feared, his actions cannot be classified as courageous. 
He is not acting out of courage, but out of his ignorance or lack of understanding. 

Thucydides, the Greek historian who documented the courageous story of the Peloponnesian War, wrote, 

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and, notwithstanding, go out to face it.”

So if one does not understand what one is facing, one cannot be brave in that situation, only ignorant. 

The difference in a courageous person and a foolhardy person is that the courageous one understands what is up against. 
When one understands the possible consequences of standing up for one principles, or of engaging in some physical battle, but still acts according to principles despite one knowledge that one's actions could cost oneself. 

The foolhardy person simply acts. One is rash and compulsive, and either do not take the time to reflect on what the dangers are, or do not have the intelligence to understand the dangers. 

"So ready, and willing for my demise, I won't go silently, into the evenings dark night. To have died for young, innocent lives. I won't go silently, into the evenings dark night."