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Courage is a Quality of Mind or Spirit

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1103
  • Category: Bravery

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You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt. Dictionary.com says, “Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” The journalist David Bloom said, “Physical courage is bravery in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, discouragement, or personal loss.” The classical virtue of fortitude is also translated to courage but includes the aspects of perseverance and patience. When researching examples of courage, I found the Ramayana and Mahabharata which both have many examples of both physical and moral courage. According to bl.uk “The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic which follows Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana with the help of an army of monkeys.” Doing this and putting your trust in yourself to save your wife would require lots of courage.

Then ancient.eu says,”The Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic where the main story revolves around two branches of a family, the Pandavas and Kauravas , who, in the Kurukshetra War, battle for the throne of Hastinapura.” This story is broken down into lots of smaller stories. It’s hard to give an idea about how this story shows true courage because the entire story has almost 100,000 couplet which is about seven times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined. It covers just over 200 years of time where this rivalry has taken place Which is a lot of words, and a lot of time. But the main story which is Jaya has a battle that was 18 days long. The people in the battle had to have courage and put everything on the line for 18 days. But was this true courage?

When Bob Ewell attacked the children, Jem tried to save Scout from Bob. He did that, but he ended up breaking his arm to save her. This is a very good example of courage. But what Boo Radley was also a very good example of courage. All the children feared him because he was locked up as a teenager and he just learned to stay in the house and do his own thing, but he ended up being fine just the way he was living his life. He hasn’t ever come out of his house to do anything. But he went outside to save the children from their attacker. He ended up saving Jem’s arm. ‘The man was walking with the staccato step of someone carrying a load too heavy for him. He was going around the corner. He was carrying Jem’ ‘Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives’. Both quotes are from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This shows that if it wasn’t for Boo’s act of courage than they children would have died that night. I think that this was the number 1 act of courage during the book.

On the city buses of Montgomery, Alabama, the front 10 seats were permanently reserved for white passengers. The diagram shows that Mrs. Parks was seated in the first row behind those 10 seats. When the bus became crowded, the bus driver instructed Mrs. Parks and the other three passengers seated in that row, all African Americans, to vacate their seats for the white passengers boarding. Eventually, three of the passengers moved, while Mrs. Parks remained seated, arguing that she was not in a seat reserved for whites. James Blake, the driver, believed he had the discretion to move the line separating black and white passengers. The law was somewhat murky on that point, but when Mrs. Parks defied his order, he called the police. She ended up getting arrested and served 4 days in jail. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was enough for the black community to start the bus boycott. This was where the people that were taking part wouldn’t ride the bus. No matter how far away they were going they would find another way to get there, like walking, riding a bike, or carpooling with others that are participating in the boycott. They took part in this for 381 days. This put the bus companies in a position where they were in trouble with money. It eventually ended when the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. What she did was very courageous.

Really no one knows what true courage is. Everyone has different level of courage and what they would do for someone else. But you will never have courage unless you get out of your comfort zone. Do you think that Rosa Parks just was calm when she was asked to move from her seat? She had a plan on what she was going to do, and she executed it, and it started a big movement in her favor. Mrs. Dubose is a woman of great courage because she fights off a morphine addiction before she dies. It doesn’t change anything, as she still dies, but it matters to her to die free of her addiction. She displays courage in facing the pain of withdrawal even though she is ‘licked before . . . she begins.’ Atticus allows Jem to read to Mrs. Dubose because he wants her to “get under her skin” to build his bravery and courage. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Atticus said this to Jem. This is exactly what Rosa Parks did. She knew that she was going to do something besides moving when they asked her to move, even though she was following the law. That is what true courage is to me. It’s planning for a scenario, and when that scenario comes up you know exactly what you need to do to succeed. Along with that, standing up for what you believe in and defending. Not letting some just cut you down, standing strong, or in Rosa Parks case sitting strong. Doing what is right, even if it hurts your reputation, that’s what true courage is.  

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