"Tis the best use of Fate to teach a fatal courage."

Emerson "Fate"


"Better to die once for all, than live in continual terror."



"God will not let his great work be made manifest in cowards."



"Hope is as great an enemy of courage as is fear."

-Walter kaufmann



"By being loving, we are capable of being brave."

-Lao Tzu



"I Beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster."

-Catherine of Russia



"Courage comes and goes. Hold on for the next supply."

-Thomas Merton



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."

-Anais Nin



"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are!"

-e.e. cummings



"A Hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer."




"An utterly fearless man is  a far more dangerous comrade than a coward."

-Herman Melville



"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened."

-George Patton, Jr   American General



"God helps the brave."



"Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down."

-Ray Bradbury


"It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you. Nobody wants you to do what you want to do."

-Joseph Campbell


"Success is never final and Failure never fatal. It's courage that counts."

-George F. Tilton



"Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has the pluck to fight when he's sure of losing. That's my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat."

-George Eliot (1819-1880



"Worry, whatever its source, weakens, takes away courage and shortens life."

-John Lancaster Spalding


"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on."

-General George Patton (1885-1945)


" knight can be brave unless he is in love; love gives the knight his courage."

-Lecoy de la Marche,A. La Chaire francaise au moyen age, Paris 1886



"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear-not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say it is brave."

-Mark Twain (1835-1910)


"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

-Winston Churchill (1874-1965)



"To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs."



"Any man can work when every stroke of his hands brings down the fruit rattling from the tree....but to labor in season and out of season, under every discouragement....that requires a heroism which is transcendent."

-Henry Ward Beecher



"you gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

-Eleanor Roosevelt



"To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can have."

-Theodore H. White


"Gamble everything on love, if you are a True Human being. If not, leave this gathering."



"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear."

Mark Twain


"Those who fear life are already three parts dead."

-Bertrand Russell


"Here comes Courage! that seized the lion absent, and ran away from the present mouse."

-Ben Franklin


"Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air."

-John Quincy Adams


"One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. but if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. never run away from anything. Never!"

-Winston Churchill


"Have you actually measured up? If you don't have that courage to look at yourself and say, Well, I failed miserably there, I hurt someone's feelings needlessly, I lost my temper-which you must never do except deliberately-you don't measure up to your own standards."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower


"The love of glory, the fear of disgrace, the incentive to succeed, the desire to live in comfort, and the instinct to humiliate others are often the cause of that courage so renowned among men."

-Francois De La Rochefoucauld



"To feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all of our will to that end, and a courage fit will very likely replace the fit of fear."

-William James



"People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest."

-Herman Hesse


"The courage of all one really knows comes but late in life."

-Friedrich Nietzsche


"Until the day of his death, no man can be sure of his courage."

-Jean Anouilh


"God helps the brave."



"Courage is a character trait most oft attributable to men. In fact, it is the universal virtue of all those who choose to do the right thing over the expedient thing. It is the common currency of all those who do what they are supposed to do in a time of conflict, crisis, and confusion."

-Florence Nightengale (1820-1910)


"My message to you is: Be courageous! I have lived a long time. I have seen history repeat itself again and again. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has come out stronger and more prosperous. Be as brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward."

-Thomas A. Edison's last public message


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."

-C.S. Lewis



"A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which and outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost it’s civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There remain many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales a to how realistic, reasonable and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weariness and cowardice…Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?…"

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 8, 1978


"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Courage is a kind of salvation."



"How, then, find the courage for action? By slipping a little into unconsciousness, spontaneity, instinct which holds one to the earth and dictates the relatively good and useful.....By accepting the human condition more simply, and candidly, by dreading troubles less, calculating less, hoping more."

-Henri Frederic Amiel


"Courage is generosity of the highest order, for the brave are prodigal of the most precious things."

-Charles Galeb Colton



"the first duty for a man is still that of subduing Fear. We must get rid of Fear; we cannot act at all till then. A man's acts are slavish, not true but specious; his very thoughts are false, he thinks as a slave and coward, till he has got Fear under his feet."

-Thomas Carlyle


"Tis nothing for a man to hold up his head in a calm; but to maintain his post when all others have quited their ground and there to stand upright when other men are beaten down, this is divine and praiseworthy."



"The brave man is not he who feels no fear, for that were stupid and irrational, but he whose noble soul subdues its fear and bravely dares that danger his nature shrinks from."

Joanna Baille


"Last, but by no means least, courage-moral courage, the courage on one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle-the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other."

Douglas MacArthur


"There are only two important kinds of courage: the courage to die and the courage to get up in the morning."

-Jean Louis Servan-Schreiber


"Courage in war has been recognized from time immemorial as an important virtue, and a great part of the training of boys and young men have been devoted to producing a type of character capable of fearlessness in battle. But moral courage and intellectual courage have been much less studied; they also, however, have their technique. Admit to yourself every day at least one painful truth; you will find this quite as useful as the Boy Scout’s daily kind action. Teach yourself to feel that life would still be worth living even if you were not, as of course you are, immeasurably superior to all your friends in virtue and intelligence. Exercises of this sort prolonged through several years will at last enable you to admit facts without flinching, and will, in so doing, free you from the empire of fear over a very large field."

Bertrand Russell


   "The same evils which terrify one person are not formidable to another; though there are some of such an irresistible nature, as to shake the firmest minds, and to inspire fear into all possessed of understanding. But those objects of terror which surpass not the strength of human nature, differing from each other in magnitude, as well as do the grounds of confidence, courage will discriminate between real and apparent dangers; and make us meet the former, as brave men ought, unshaken and dauntless, subjecting the instinctive emotions of fear to the dictates of reason and of honour. For we betray our weakness, not only when we fear things really not formidable, but when we are affected in an undue degree, or at an improper time, by objects of real danger. A brave man avoids such errors; and, estimating things by their real worth, prefers the grace and beauty of habitual fortitude to the delusive security of deformed cowardice. Yet he is not less careful to avoid that excess of intrepidity, which, being rarely met with, is like many other vices, without a name; though nothing but madness, or a most stupid insensibility, can make any man preserve, amidst earthquakes and inundations, that unshaken composure, which has been ascribed to the Celts. An overweening estimate of the causes of confidence, and a consequent excess of courage, is called audacity; a boastful species of bravery, and the mere ape of true manhood. What the brave man is , the rash and audacious man wishes to appear, he courts and provokes unnecessary dangers, but fails in the hour of trial; and is, for the most part, a blustering bully, who, under a semblance of pretended courage, conceals no inconsiderable portion of cowardice. But the complete and genuine coward easily betrays himself, by fearing either things not formidable, or things formidable, in an undue degree; and his failing is the more manifest, because it is accompanied with plain indications of pain; he lives in continual alarm and is therefore spiritless and dejected; whereas courage warms our breasts, and animates our hopes. Such then is the character of true courage, as opposed to audacity on one hand, and cowardice on the other. It holds the middle place between those vicious extremes; it is calm and sedate; and though it never provokes danger, is always ready to meet even death in an honorable cause."


The Nicomachean Ethics



"It is a sign of courage not to be easily alarmed by the terrors of death, and to be full of cheerful confidence in dangers, and to be of valiant happiness amid disasters, and to prefer dying with honor to being saved disgracefully, and to wish to be the cause of victory; and a happy boldness, and a cheerfulness of soul, and fortitude, are the attendants on a manly spirit."

Philo of Alexander


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky."

-C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)



"My lodestars were blotted out; in that canopy of grim fire shone no star.....The universe was one huge, dead, immeasurable steam engine, rolling on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb. And I asked myself, "What art thou afraid of?" Wherefore, like a coward, dost thou forever pip and whimper, and go cowering and trembling. Despicable biped! What is the sum-total of the worst that lies before thee? Death? Well, Death: and say the pangs of Tophet too and all that the Devil and Man may, will or can do against thee! Hast thou not a heart; canst thou not suffer whatso it be: and, as a Child of Freedom, though outcast, trample Tophet itself under thy feet, while it consumes thee? Let it come, then; I will meet it and defy it!"


Sartor Resartus


                                      Courage     by Amelia Earhart 1937

"Courage is the price that Life

exacts for granting peace.

The soul that knows it not,

knows no release

From little things:


knows not the livid loneliness of fear,

Nor mountain heights where bitter joy

can hear

The sound of wings.

How can life grant us boon of living,


For dull gray ugliness and pregnant hate

Unless we dare


The soul's dominion? Each time we

   make a choice, we pay

With courage to behold resistless day,

And count it fair."

Amelia Earhart 1937


"The one fact most firmly rooted in our consciousness is that we must pay for ever least step forward. We know we must pay in blood or, worse, in nameless, lifelong anguish; we know that to fight for our fellow-men means to be stoned by them. Hand another your loaf of bread; he will return it, poisoned. But man has never counted the cost of standing by his convictions. Stretched on the rack, no longer able to speak, he has shaken his head in silence when asked if he would save himself by a little conversion. All the countless generations of fighters have not exhausted this courage. It has not decreased. It is alive, unchanged, our greatest warrant that man was not placed senselessly into this world although his doings often may seem senseless, that the very fact of his unending suffering conceals the fact of his growth. And this is not altered one whit by the complacent smiles of the majority, who smugly with draw from the contest.

    The struggle of mankind continues uninterrupted; it began with the Creation and has never been waged in vain. He who gives himself to this struggle knows that the courage of man is his best hope, perhaps his only one."

Otto Zoff

The Huguenots: Fighters for God and Human Freedom

Book: "Beyond Fear" by Joel P. Kramer


"What's courage but having faith instead of fear?"

-Michael J. Fox



"have you actually measured up? If you don't have that courage to look at yourself and say, Well, I failed miserably there, I hurt someone's feelings needlessly, I lost my temper-which you must never do except deliberately-you don't measure up to your own standards."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Until the day of death, no one can be sure of his courage."

-Jean Anouilh


COWARDLY CONFESSORS by Joe Queenan  In Character

   The "My Bad" syndrome, the act of being gutsy enough to accept responsibility for doing what one has unarguably done is a cunning though ultimately cowardly way of defecting attention away from the fact that no one else could possibly be held responsible for the screwup. It is similar to George Washington's disingenuous declaration: "Father, I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree." By declaring the idea of telling a lie was morally repugnant to him, young George immediately diverted attention away from the fact that chopping down a cherry tree, a far more serious offense, was not repugnant to him, and from the fact that nobody else could possibly have been fingered for this act of gratuitous arboreal terrorism. The whole point of false courage is to move the conversation away from one's failings to one's strengths: I am an idiot. I am a jerk, I am a lecher. I am a scoundrel, but at least I am man enough to admit it. Now, let's turn the page.

   The primary objective of false courage in this context is to accept blame without accepting punishment....Of course, this tried-and true, buck-stops-here brand of false courage is only one strain of an increasingly virulent social ill.....if it weren't for false courage, most politicians would have no courage at all."

Joe Queenan


© 2008




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