Courage

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 21 June 2012

Category: Courage

We often hear the phrase: “They live by the courage of their convictions,” used to describe people who go against the flow; live life on their own terms; or buck convention to fully express their individuality and adhere to standards they’ve set for themselves, rather than conform to “majority rule.”

As I tie-up loose ends on my next book, I am reminded, anew, that the ten women I write about–people as diverse as first century Celtic queen, Boudicca; slave and emancipator of slaves, Harriet Tubman; actor-producer Drew Barrymore; and everyone in-between–appeal to me so much because of the inner courage they possess and actualize throughout their lives.

The opposite of this would be to live a “Better safe than sorry” kind of life, I suppose: Never express a controversial opinion; never question social norms; strive to “fit-in,” and, above all else, don’t make waves.

From my perspective, the problem with this type of personality is that it is usually timid and insecure (therefore, extremely self-centered); often ingenuine and duplistic (read: “Can’t be trusted.”); and always boring. So, why would anyone choose to be insipid (or,what many call, “nice”) rather than to become self-actualized and live by the courage of their convictions?

Perhaps, when children, every attempt to express themselves openly, honestly, and uniquely was called “disobedience” and met with harsh retribution by parents and other authority figures? Perhaps, at an early age, they discovered that “obeying” and receiving pats on the head, praise, and earning the title: “good son,” or “sweet little girl” was the kind of easy, ego-centric life they desired?  Or, maybe they were just lazy.

I mean, it takes a lot more time, energy, and thought to question and examine every attitude, behavior, moral code, and convention before adopting it as “right” or “acceptable,” just because someone tells you it is, than to simply fall into line and keep your mouth shut, doesn’t it?  It also take courage.

This leaves us with a big question though:  How does one child attain the self-knowledge necessary to grow a conviction in the first place; and, why does another simply acquiesce and become a non-questioning conformist? I see this as a crucial question to ponder–especially where raising, teaching, and influencing our children and youth is concerned.  Any ideas?

 

 

 

 

 

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