More than One Kind of Courage

Everyone admires courage. Everyone wants to be courageous. Usually the courage we talk about, the courage we think about and yearn for, is movie courage. Courage in the face of extreme danger. It is an important type of courage, but there’s more than one kind of courage.

What is Courage? 

Fear and courage are brothers.”

A Proverb

We can all agree that courage is about bravery and a certain amount of risk taking. But how do we define courage? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, courage is mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. 

By that definition, there can be many types of courage. Here we will discuss ten types of courage: physical, every day, moral, spiritual, social, emotional, empathetic, disciplined, intellectual, and creative. 

Physical Courage 

Physical courage is bravery at the risk of bodily harm or death. We romanticize this type of courage in superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman. It’s also the courage soldiers have at war. There have been many, many people in our world who have shown extraordinary physical courage. I’ll name Witold Pilecki and Malala Yousafzai as two with physical courage. It’s likely you know some who have never made the history books or news.

photo of Malala Yousafzai one example of a person with physical courage, in fact she stands for more than one kind of courage

Everyday Courage 

Everyday courage is about the grit and determination necessary to make tough calls about one’s self, life, and loved ones.

tepsa.org

Examples include Stormé DeLaverie who dared to be herself no matter what. It also is a farmer working his field through rain and drought, the person who decides every day to get up and go through their day no matter what, and the child who, despite their fears, walks into a new classroom or situation. It also includes the tougher choices like end-of-life choices, or to walk away from a toxic relationship. 

Moral Courage 

Moral courage means acting on one’s values in the face of potential or actual opposition and negative consequences.”

psychologytoday.com

We are fortunate to live in a world of people with moral courage like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi and many others.

Spiritual Courage

This is the type of courage that allows us “to grapple with questions about faith, purpose, and meaning in a religious or nonreligious framework.” We have spiritual courage when we share our spirituality publicly, or when we answer a child’s question about life after death, or when we seek to understand an unfamiliar belief system. 

Social Courage

This expression of courage involves the risk of social embarrassment or exclusion, unpopularity or rejection. It also involves leadership.

Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks had the social and physical courage to challenge segregation. The Native Americans (and others) protesting at Standing Rock expressed social courage. Every person who comes out as LGBQT has social courage. Often introverts flex their social courage muscles in order to appear in public.

Emotional Courage 

It takes a special courage, emotional courage, to be open to feeling the full spectrum of emotional experience, both positive and negative.

lionswhiskers.com

We could classify this as an everyday courage. All of us should be emotionally courageous. But some of us hide behind one emotion and don’t have the courage to face more difficult emotions. It is also an extraordinary courage for people who struggle with or overcome mental health issues.

Empathetic Courage

Acknowledging personal bias and intentionally moving away from them in order to vicariously experience the trials and triumphs of others is empathetic courage.

In my humble opinion, this should be an everyday courage, but it clearly isn’t a courage everyone shares. Facing one’s flawed way of thinking about another person isn’t for the faint of heart.

Disciplined Courage

Remaining steadfast, strategic and deliberate in the face of inevitable setbacks and failures is disciplined courage.

This is an everyday courage. Every. Single. Day. So many people choose to use this type of courage. I do. You do. Every. Single. Person.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”

Thomas Edison

Intellectual Courage

According to tepsa.org, intellectual courage is challenging old assumptions and acting to make changes based on new learnings, understandings, and insights gleaned from experience and/or educational research.

This is often the pursuit of truth. One of the most famous types of intellectual courage was Edward R. Murrow’s report exposing Joseph McCarthy as a racist.

Creative Courage

You have creative courage when you are doing creative work despite your doubts and fears. It’s opening your mind to fresh approaches, new ideas, and acting on them. Anyone who is a creative who has grown in their talent or skills has used creative courage to get there. Creatives use creative courage every time you face a new project, every time you show someone your work. 

More than One Kind of Courage

I hope this brief review of these ten different kinds of courage has helped you see how you and everyone around you use courage. Some are grand, exciting, acts on the world stage. Most acts of courage are quiet. We often label them as “small” because they are quiet. Now that you know there’s more than one kind of courage, don’t compare acts of courage. Honor your courage and the courage of others. 

What type of courage have you used today?

Image Credits

Top image by erwin nowak from Pixabay 

Second photo by DFID – UK Department for International Development via Wikimedia Commons.

Third photo by slowking4 via Wikimedia Commons.

Black Women You Should Know

Women have long been ignored by history. Add in a minority skin color or race or religion and they are even less likely to be remembered. And that is a shame. Black women are making and have made history. From long past to current history makers, from the music room to the boardroom to the court room to the tennis court, here are 41 black women you should know.

Photo of young and middle aged black women sitting around a conference table in a business office, even these are black women you should know

We will all, at some point, encounter hurdles to gaining access and entry, moving up and conquering self-doubt; but on the other side is the capacity to own opportunity and tell our own story.” Stacey Abrams, an American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist, and author.

“Don’t let anything stop you. There will be times when you’ll be disappointed, but you can’t stop.” Sadie T. M. Alexander,  an American lawyer who was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States, and the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

“Won’t it be wonderful when black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.” Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. 

Restored portrait photo of Mary McLeod Bethune-one of many black women you should know from history

“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.Mary McLeod Bethune,  an American educator, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil rights activist.

“Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer.

“Do not desire to fit in. Desire to oblige yourselves to lead.” Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet, author, and teacher, the first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize (1950).

“Women must become revolutionary. This cannot be evolution but revolution.” Shirley Chisholm, an American politician— the first black woman elected to the United States Congress(1968), educator, and author.

”We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.” Yvette Clarke,  an American politician

“The air is the only place free from prejudice.” Bessie Coleman, an early American civil aviator, the first African-American woman and first Native American to hold a pilot license.

“I knew then and I know now, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it.” Claudette Colvin,  an American pioneer of the 1950s civil rights movement and retired nurse aide.

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” Angela Davis, an American political activist, philosopher, academic, scholar, and author.

“As black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences — experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as black women is take the worst situations and create from that point. Viola Davis, an American actress and producer.

“When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.” Ava DuVernay, an American filmmaker.

Photo of Ella Fitzgerald singing in a club filled with black men. Ella Fitzgerald is one of many black women you should know

“Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Ella Fitzgerald, an American jazz singer, the “First Lady of Song”

“When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don’t speak out ain’t nobody going to speak out for you.” Fannie Lou Hamer, an American voting, civil rights, and women’s rights activist

“There is no vaccine for racism.” Kamala Harris, an American politician and attorney, the 49th and current vice president of the United States. 

“Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.” Zora Neale Hurston, American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker.

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

“I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black; it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.” June Jordan, an American poet, essayist, teacher, and activist.

“Don’t agonize, organize.” Florynce Kennedy, an American lawyer, radical feminist, civil rights advocate, lecturer and activist.

Headshot of Coretta Scott King, wife of activists Martin Luthor King Jr. but one of the black women you should know in her own right

 “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” Coretta Scott King, American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King Jr.

“If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” Beyonce Knowles, an American singer, songwriter, and actress.

“Friendly reminder that you don’t have to say the ‘n word’ to be racist. That’s not the sole requirement. Asking people to prove racism is another tool the oppressor uses to marginalize and discredit us.” Lizzo, nee Melissa Viviane Jefferson, an American singer, rapper, songwriter and flutist.

“Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.” Janelle Monáe,  an American singer, rapper, and actress

“If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” Toni Morrison, an American novelist

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” Michelle Obama, an American attorney and author who served as the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017

“To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.” Rosa Parks,  an American activist in the civil rights movement

“Black history isn’t a separate history. This is all of our history, this is American history, and we need to understand that. It has such an impact on kids and their values and how they view black people.” Karyn Parsons, an American actress, author and comedian.

“Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” Shonda Rhimes, an American television producer, screenwriter, and author

“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.” Tracee Ellis Ross, nee Tracee Joy Silberstein, an American actress, singer, television host, producer and director.

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” Wilma Rudolph, an American sprinter, who became a world-record-holding Olympic champion and international sports icon in track and field.

“You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.” Nina Simone, nee Eunice Kathleen Waymon, an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist.

“Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.” Susan L. Taylor, journalist

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman,  an American slave, an abolitionist and political activist.

“Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free . . . your true self comes out.” Tina Turner, an American-born Swiss singer, songwriter and actress.

restored photo of Sojourner Truth sitting in an armchair

“Truth is powerful and it prevails.” Sojourner Truth, an American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. 

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker, an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist.

“Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” Madam C.J. Walker, an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist, recorded as the first female self-made millionaire in America in the Guinness Book of World

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” Ida B. Wells, an American investigative journalist, educator, and early leader in the civil rights movement

“Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” Oprah Winfrey, an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist.

I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.” Serena Williams, an American professional tennis player.

These are but a few of the Black Women You Should Know. Because I’m American, my selections here are American, but there are black women across the world who deserve honors and remembrances. Please take a moment during this Black History Month to remember the black women who have worked quietly behind the scenes as well as those made famous by the actions or words. All women deserve more credit for their contributions to history. Even if their “only” contribution is living their own lives.

Image Credits

Top Photo-women in business by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Second Photo-Mary McLeod Bethune, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Third Photo-Ella Fitzgerald, William P. Gottlieb, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Fourth Photo-Coretta Scott King by John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel  Maryland, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Photo-Sourjourner Truth , National Portrait Gallery, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Worldwide Crises Got You Down?

Worldwide crises got you down? As if the pandemic, protests, and political shenanigans aren’t enough, now we have more killing and natural disasters. It’s a lot. The worst part is that none of it is over. And it won’t be for a while. So in case you need a reminder of how strong and awesome you are, here are a dozen quotes to help you hold on.

wood fence and tree and person on swing silhouetted against the milkyway in the night sky with Ralph Waldo emerson quote to help you when worldwide crises got you down

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage

Image of a tree and a woman sitting on the ground silhouetted against a golden moon with the quote by Mary Anne Radmacher to help you when the worldwide crises got you down

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

You are Braver than you believe, Stronger than you seem, and Smarter than you think.

― A. A. Milne Christopher Robin

Courage isn’t having the strength to go on—it is going on when you don’t have strength.

– Napoleon Bonaparte

Strength

Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.

– Sarah Dessen

Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.

– Unknown

If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.

Flavia Weedn

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. – Christopher Reeve

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.

– Arthur Golden

You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

– Marcus Aurelius

You don’t realize how strong you are until you have to help someone else stand up.

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Hold On by Alabama Shakes

I don’t blame you one bit if the worldwide crises got you down. The constant onslaught of dire news can be overwhelming. Don’t let the it wear you out. Take care of yourself. Maybe you need a distraction or two. Take a break from social media. Take a break from the world. You are strong. Let’s help each other hold on. How do you give yourself the strength to keep going?

14 Quotes that Will Feed You Courage

Fear triggers our survival response, fight or flight. That makes it one powerful emotion. So powerful it can overwhelm—it can freeze us. Fight, flight, or freeze. But sometimes fear isn’t real. Today, we don’t have a saber tooth tiger on on tail but fear still dogs us. Are you Frozen with Fear? Here are 14 quotes that will feed you courage.

One of 14 Quotes to feed you courage over the image of a footbridge fading into the fog.

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear Is a Liar

Fear can be essential to our survival but fear is a sneaky devil. It can pick on something small, inconsequential. But it builds slowly. It raises our pulse, makes our palms clammy, our breathing ragged, our bowels feel loose, we CAN. NOT. MOVE. At least that’s what fear tells us. 

Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.

~Unknown

Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.

~Rudyard Kipling

Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.

~Brene Brown

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.

~Helen Keller

Fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.

~Steve Maraboli

Discover Your Courage

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.

~Karl Augustus Menninger

Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.

~ Japanese Proverb

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

~ Unknown

You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.

~Dale Carnegie
One of 14 Quotations that will feed you courage over a pink and lavender sky with wispy clouds.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.

~Mark Twain

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.

~Henry Ford

The key to growth is acknowledging your fear of the unknown and jumping in anyway.

~Jen Sincero

I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.

~Oprah Winfrey

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

~Jack Canfield

Take Action

Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.

~Dale Carnegie

Laughter is poison to fear.

~ George R.R. Martin

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow.

But any action is better than no action at all.

~Norman Vincent Peale

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”

 ~Virgil Thomson

Sometimes, even though you know it’s unfounded, the fear gets too big to handle alone.

Be Free

One of 14 quotes that will feed you courage over an image of the silhouette of a Greek olympian holding a wreath up in the air against gray clouds with sunlight bursting through.

He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.

~Aristotle

If you need more information about fear, read Psychology Today’s article, Fear. Those of you in the UK may want to read Mental Health’s article, How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety. Or you can read some of my posts:

Are you Frozen with Fear? The 14 Quotes that will feed you courage above may not be all you need to overcome your fears. But it’s a start. Recognize your fears. You are courageous. Get help if you need it. Face your fears and they’ll start to shrink.