courage | Teen Ink


October 4, 2010
By Anonymous

An American General, a Russian General and a British General were standing on the deck of a ship watching war exercises. The topic of discussion turns to human courage, and the Russian General boasts,
“Russians are the most courageous people on Earth!”
Upon which the American (naturally) challenges him: “Oh yeah?”
The Russian says, “Sure! Here, Yuri! Jump off the deck and swim around the ship!”
Yuri marches off into the freezing Atlantic without a word and does as he is told. The Russian turns around and says: “See, there’s an example of courage!”
The American has to top this, so he calls up one of his underlings and gives him the order:
“Jack, Jump off the main mast into the ocean, and swim around the ship seven times!”
Poor Jack goes off without a murmur, and he too does as he is told. The American General says: “Now top that for courage!”
So they both turn around to the British General who has been standing around watching these antics silently. They ask him: “What about your people?”
The British General calls up one of his people and says: “Trevor, jump off the mast and swim under the keel of the ship, will you, old chap?”
Trevor stares at his general.
“Let me get this right. You want me to jump off the mast.”
“And swim under the keel?”
“General. You must be daft!”
And so saying, Trevor turns around and saunters off.
Whereupon the British General turns to the other two and says, “Now there’s an example of true courage.”

Many Americans think that they understand the meaning of the word “courage but in true fact they don’t. Courage isn’t described by the amount of speeches and campaign that you give but is described by amount of action you take towards the specific action. A fast company article states that courage is the most desirable and messiest human virtue. I know the meaning of courage you see there is this gorgeous girl in my first period class whom I like. She looked like an African princess. Each time I see her in class, I try to ask her out but just can’t muster enough courage. Anyway, one who describes courage as a way of expressing what you think about something through words or thought alone isn’t just mistaking the true meaning of courage, but is a coward. The good coward from the civil war is one who reluctantly marches into every battle but flees at the first sign of bloodshed, he returns and prepares for the next day resulting to do better. Know I am not asking anyone to rush into a war untrained and unarmed but I am saying that you do it before you think about it. Jean Paul ones said that “a timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward.”

The idea of being courageous runs through every Americans mind including yours. We have to understand that we Americans just like the Russians often mistake courage for fear. We mainly do things because we are asked to do it and not because it is what we stand for. Just like poor Jack who is probably dead by know we also mistake orders or direction for courage. We must learn the distinction between fear and courage or many of us will surfer due to our lack of knowledge.

Don’t worry; you may still be able to redeem yourself through these simple but crucial solutions. Responsibility, Respect, trustworthy, Caring and Citizenship; these are the five main human characteristic trait needed to successfully understand and exhibit courage.

Responsibility: one thing that many Americans have is responsibility. What is responsibility? Well responsibility is been able to accept and perform your various duties. We need this trait in other to be courageous at any time. To be courageous means to be disciplined which falls under responsibility. You also need common sense because you can’t hope to burst into to a burning building to rescue someone with no equipment or experience in the name of being courageous.

The second stage to been courageous is to show respect. You must show other people respect by earning your respect from them. This includes been organized and you must think about the impact of people. The impact it makes affect if the citizens will accept your decision or reject you. If the topic harms the people then it is rational that they negate you but if it produces a positive impact on the people’s life then they will most likely favor your decision or idea.

My next topic deals with trust worthiness because you must convince the people that they can trust your decision as the leader. It isn’t enough to just mention the impact of your idea; you have to convince the people in that it makes a positive impact. For example, during you’re a debate round you must convince your judge that your idea is better than your opponents. You must also convince the people that you qualifier to be there representative and they could trust you. In our past we can see that many famous people in the United States history had to convince people that they cared and they backed up their speeches with actions as a resource to their plans. They made people believe in them and they were able to secede.

Next I go to caring. Caring is the most crucial trait of all because you can’t be respectful or trustworthy if you didn’t care. Joseph Goldstein said that “Compassion motivates us to act and wisdom ensures the means are effective." You have to care for a person in other for you to help or safe them. You must care for a cause to fight against or for it. Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. It is spacious and very generous. When a person develops real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself. You will be surprised how many people will see an abuse and let it go on due to lack of care.

The final stage is to accept the fact that you are been courageous helps or fix something you believe have to change in your environment. Citizenship also includes been courageous enough to report your best friend(s) when they are doing involved in any negative gang or in a cult. Citizenship deals with the being courageous towards your country and having your own beliefs and ideas. It doesn’t matter what anyone else think of you as long as you are doing what is right and what you believe in.

As we look deeper into the term “COURAGE” we find out that just like the American and the Russian, we normally mistake courage for bravery and fear.

The author's comments:
this is an original oratoey that focuses on our courageous lives

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This article has 2 comments.

on Nov. 15 2010 at 9:57 pm
swiftheart GOLD, Houston, Texas
17 articles 5 photos 81 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If someone were to pay you 10 cents for every kind word you ever spoke and collect 5 cents for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?"

wow nice work

sssss said...
on Nov. 5 2010 at 3:52 am
nicly written