Courage supports the mature realization that there are values that outweigh our own comfort and security. Thomas Aquinas judged that the arousal of courage empowers us “to face the dreadful,” strengthening individuals “so that they will not turn back.” We feel this arousal when, in the face of a frightening situation, a threat to our safety or our dignity, we determine to act nevertheless. It is not easy to isolate and name this stirring.
A full and satisfying life must be open to taking risky actions. Courage here often takes the shape of patience. In patience we hold ourselves to valued ideals – of justice, of mercy, of compassion – even when we cannot guarantee they will win the day.
Nourishing the Spirit: The Healing Emotions of Wonder, Joy, Compassion and Hope
James & Evelyn Whitehead
Background on James & Evelyn Whitehead