"This noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wip’d the black scruples, reconcil’d my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
From over-credulous haste; but God above
Deal between thee and me! for even now
I put myself to thy direction, and
Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
For strangers to my nature".
Macbeth (Act IV, Scene III)
What is courage? Where does it come from?
Physical courage is the rage. We are all deeply rooted in a physique obsessed world, where botex, life consuming diets, six-pack sports heroes and sculptored actor define the norm to a gazing, gaping, fooled world. But this is not physical courage, it is a mirage. A photoshoped fashion of our idle age.
What is courage? Is it thumping bibles and quoting the Koran? Thumping a stranger in the club? Raising our voice? Cutting someone down? Or is it perhaps something deeper? To understand courage, we have to understand cowardice first.
Cowardice is hiding behind an institution, allowing others to do our seeing and thinking for us. Moral cowardice is living a cartoon life, a lice of laziness feeding off the safe code that our moral masters our politicians, priests, educators, financiers, media moguls and shallow friends preach to us. Bowing to the courage of others does not make us courageous.
Cowardice is hiding behind alchol, drugs, fashion, wealth, age, connections, titles and positions. Moral cowardice is hiding behind the threat of physical violence, whether it is with a spouse or another nation. Moral cowardice is a leach that consumes and ultimately destroys it's host.
Courage is the sweetness of honey (the truth we create) with a sting hidden just below the surface. Moral courage is having the emotional strength and fortitude to know and defend what is right.
Speak up when others roll over in compliance. Listening to the truth without getting defensive or hiding behind excuses. Having the tough conversations. Being true to what and who we are.
Moral courage over rides physical courage every time. Moral courage resides deep in that place we call our heart.