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Page 40, paragraph 1:
Courage, I seemed to think, comes to us in finite quantities, like an inheritance, and by being frugal and stashing it away and letting it earn interest, we steadily increase our moral capital in preparation for that day when the account must be drawn down. It was a comforting theory. It dispensed with all those bothersome little acts of daily courage; it offered hope and grace to the repetitive coward; it justified the past while amortizing the future.
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page 40, paragraph 1,
When I read that paragraph, I had to read it twice and think about it. I have always thought the opposite. Courage is built up by each little act of courage, and also that we earn 'brownie points' for having courage in our day to day lives and then if we fail to have courage in a particular instance, one that perhaps would take more courage than we could muster at that point, we can forgive ourselves because of the courage we have shown in the past.
I think that each person does not really know how much courage they have until that moment when it is tested. But yet, how do you judge whether it is courage or something else that causes your actions? Like embarrassment? And how do you judge someone else's courage?
This definition of courage:
the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. sounds to me like courage is simply the absence of feeling fear. I have always thought of a courageous person as someone who faces difficulty, danger, pain, despite the fear, or when they have to conquer fear in order to do it, but maybe that is what is meant by 'the quality of mind or spirit'.
Our societal definition of courage is based more on outward action than inner battle because inner battle is not something that we can measure.
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