Courage is a necessity to overcome fears and achieve the desired goal. Fear is something that exists in all of us. There is no hero or any particular courageous figure that is without fear. Being fearless is not required to be courageous, one simply has to look past or overcome their fears. Courage does not mean merely physical bravery, it means, also, the moral strength which enables a man to do the right thing. Physical courage is good and useful, as it helps man to overcome difficulties, bear hardships, and do laborious work, but moral courage is a higher form of courage and is much nobler. A moral coward will not do the right thing, because he is afraid to be ridiculed by others. It is easy to say ‘yes’ to everything, but it requires a very strong mind to say ‘no,’ when one is really convinced that the thing is wrong.
For example, many great reformers would not have achieved the success they achieved if they had yielded to the threats of their opponents who were perhaps even more powerful than themselves.
Sacrificing one’s interests for the sake of others requires great courage. A man who risks his own life to save that of another, who rescues another from fire, or saves a drowning man, defines courage. Someone who stands up for what he firmly believes in when thousands follow the wrong path defines courage.
Someone who puts on a smiling facade while they may be crippling defines courage.
To everyone who fights every day mentally or physically, to everyone who fights every day in this pandemic as a doctor or a survivor, to everyone who pretends to be stronger than ever were, YOU are courage.
We start demonstrating courage since childhood itself but the form of courage gets deeper and more intense as we grow up. The situations and circumstances that we face in life also define how courageous one needs to be.
One courageous act that I have done is putting my foot down in the matter of career that I wanted to make. I will tell you a little story about it.
I was pursuing chartered accountancy and had set goals for myself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t clear the 2nd level of the exam in 3 attempts. Then I made up my mind to go for MBA. My mom was strictly against it…! According to her, it didn’t make sense to give up on efforts made for 4 years (3 yrs for the 2nd level and 1 yr for the first level). She was right in a way. Chartered accountancy is a tough exam to clear and it is common to take those number of attempts. But the hidden fear that she had was “log kya kahenge”… she thought our friends and relatives and acquaintances may call me a failure. The result was that she strongly opposed my decision of giving up on chartered accountancy.
However, my mind was clear and I knew what I had to do. I managed to convince her to believe in me. I explained to her why I wanted to make that shift. I told her that I wanted to get married at a decent age, earn x amount by that time and I was in no way going to meet these goals if I continued with my chartered accountancy stint. It wasn’t easy to convince her. There were arguments, emotional blackmailing and tears on both sides but I stayed put. Not sure where I gathered that courage from but I did. It’s never easy to go against your parents, especially if you want them to be with you on your journey.
By God’s grace, everything worked as per my plan. I was able to achieve both goals. Later in life, I was proposed to consider an alternative job versus my corporate job so that I don’t have much tension in life and I could give more time to the household. Someone has rightly said history repeats. But this time it demanded even more courage because it was not my mother but my mother in law against whom I had to put my foot down. Eventually, it worked. But I can’t tell you how much courage a newlywed needs to establish her dreams, aspirations and personal or career goals in a set of new family members. For me, that was the courage I showed, because I had a lot to achieve yet had a limitation on my behaviour and the methods I would use to explain, convince or persuade for that matter because once it was my mom and the second time it was my mother in law. There is always a line that you cannot cross when you are standing against adults.
Like I said above, we all show courage in different forms and magnitude right since we are born but some incidents leave a mark on your heart. What’s your memory of courage?