Marcus Tullius Cicero
Let’s be clear on this quote.
“Faith” in this case has nothing to do with religion. Faith in this case is all about “self.”
Faith in oneself.
A belief in oneself. Self actualization. Self esteem. Strength in self.
All that good (Maslow) stuff.
Which leads me to a second quote from good ole Cicero.
“A man’s own manner and character is what most becomes him.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Lets connect the dots.
True courage is a lot about resiliency. Resiliency in the face of adversity. The adversity can be extreme or it can be ‘humdrum’ (I just wanted to use that word) but in the end it is just good ole plain adversity.
And to be able to not quit in the face of adversity you have to have some faith in oneself. Faith in that you can deal with it or you will figure out how to deal with it. Faith that somewhere and somehow you won’t fail.
And character comes into play in two ways … the manner you face adversity as well as the strength it takes to face adversity (when it is a shitload easier to just simply quit). Strength of character is the foundation for this whole courage thing.
That is why I put it last.
By the way.
I threw in the ‘humdrum’ to make a point. Everyday life, the routine life, being a parent, being committed to showing up every day at work, doing well in school, being nice in the face of the abusive … all of that takes courage. A lot of courage. And faith. And even more character. We forget this kind of stuff whenever we speak about courage.
We seek to put courage up on this pedestal of extraordinary behavior in the face of the most extreme adversity.
Is that courage? Sure.
But it’s often courage inspired by sheer human survival.
In other words … be courageous or die.
Is that admirable? You betcha. Those folk deserve every bit of admiration and attention they deserve.
But then there is day to day courage.
Is it heroic? Well. No. Not particularly.
It is simply having the fortitude and backbone and character and resiliency to deal with what has to be done. With whatever responsibility you have assumed.
It is sometimes easy to shrug it off as “what is the alternative” but it takes inner courage regardless.
Should it be celebrated with medals and speeches and stuff like that? Nope (or I don’t believe so).
But I also believe it should be recognized.
Day to day life is tough.
And it takes courage to deal with it.
Why do I care?
Because so many people quit in the face of day to day. Those who don’t should recognize that. Because they COULD have quit. But they didn’t. Is that “take a bullet” courage? Nope. Is it a different type of courage? Yup. It is 365 days a year type courage. The ability to wake up each morning to face whatever it is you have to face type courage. It is a sneaky type of courage. Because the more famous type of courage you have a specific enemy. They have a gun. They want to kill you. It is you against them.
Life is a little trickier.
Or maybe let’s call it a more sly enemy.
It doesn’t seek to hunt you down one day with a bullet (or whatever). It seeks to wear you down and find ‘the moment’ to destroy whatever it is you may have.
So lets work the formula backwards.
Dealing with Life begins with courage. And takes character as the bookend. And in between takes faith & resilience to manage the adversity.
Sometimes think about measuring it by how you deal with life.
You may find more courage around you than you ever imagined.