The ancient Greeks believed it to be one of the four cardinal virtues. Courage – defined as the willingness to intentionally put one’s self into a circumstance that brings great fear, anxiety or reprehension. We honor our heroes for their exceptional fortitude and admire those with the ability to overcome dread with an eye toward the greater good. Courage, rightly placed, brings we humans to a higher, better place.
It appears every day, in ordinary ways. A toddler learning to take those first tentative steps exhibits their own nascent bravery. A teenager, making the right choice in the face of daunting peer-pressure, has it. The elderly man facing his own mortality with confident reserve certainly shows it. All around are moments of personal challenge, and then, ones of personal triumphs.
Hamilton Co. Firefighters 4416 and Carmel Firefighters Local 4444 are working to place a memorial on the Court House square in Noblesville to honor those who have lost their lives in serving all of us – reach out to Tony Murry (HC) or Sean Sutton (Carmel) to help. While this particular effort is in Hamilton Co., these men and women put themselves in harm’s way, on our behalf, when called – anywhere.
To overcome real and apparent fear and enter a burning building to the benefit of a stranger, assuredly meets the standard set by the ancients of courage. In remembering this sacrifice and honoring those who have shown such fortitude in the face of adversity inspires us all to find the courage within each of us. One is reminded that the cowardly lion learned that he had it all along if only he’d used it.
Do we all have a “reserve” of courage somewhere deep inside that, if tapped, can help us find the strength to overcome the bondage of our own fear?