Only bravery

“For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point — and does not break.”C.K. Chesterton

Courage is not only a virtue, or one of the most important virtues, or even the most important virtue that a man can posses. Courage is every single virtue at its breaking point.

One cannot be good without being brave; this virtue of his will be tested by men, will be discouraged. One cannot be ambitious unless he is brave enough to keep on going when it seems that the entire universe conspires against his desires. One cannot love unless he is brave enough to fight for that which he loves, unless he is brave enough to fight against the impulse to give up.

Life has a way of changing you for the worst. It’s the easiest way. Life has a way of making cynics out of us.

You cannot believe in something unless you are brave enough to believe it even when people ridicule you, argue with you, or even worse.

Without bravery, this wicked world can turn saints into sinners.

One cannot treat people in the way he’d like to be treated unless one is courageous enough to do so even with those who hardly deserve any respect at all. One cannot create his dreams into reality unless one is brave enough to do so.

Simply put, unless one is brave, one cannot be anything at all.

But being brave is not the same as not being afraid. If one is afraid, and still does what he wants, then one is brave. Being brave is not about being strong and fearless in the face of adversity. Being brave means being afraid, very much so at times. Being brave means going on when one feels weak and is terrified by a multitude of negative thoughts.

Many cry because they want to give up. Many more give up even before reaching that point. And very few cry because they don’t want to give up. They cry because the interior motivation they require in order to fight for the life they want needs to be replenished.

Being brave means working for what you want until you can’t work anymore.

Being brave means fighting for what you want until you can’t fight anymore.

Being brave means to wait just enough until you have enough strength so you can work and fight again.

Contrary to what you might be lead to believe, this world will never tolerate less. Of course, people got used to call their lack of courage as pragmatism or what has almost become a sacred art these days: compromise.

So, yes, it’s not luck or fate that makes the difference. It’s not talent. It’s not intelligence. It’s not beauty. It’s not wealth. But courage.

Because unless one is brave, one will never truly feel alive either.

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9 thoughts on “Only bravery

  1. Life is definitely not for the faint of heart. I’d only add that the difference between being brave and being foolhardy is the cause in which you enlist your courage.

  2. I love what Chesterton wrote about courage in his book Heretics; same with C. S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters. Because their essays on courage are so similar, I suspect both men got their inspiration from George MacDonald.

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