Monday, May 20, 2013

365 day challenge - day 140 / Bushido - day 2

Bushido - Day 2

(2) Courage - 勇氣

Definition / Formal Thoughts

From Wikipedia - Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.
In some traditions, fortitude holds approximately the same meaning as courage. In the Western tradition, notable thoughts on courage have come from philosophers such as AristotleAquinas and Kierkegaard; in the Eastern tradition, some thoughts on courage were offered by the Tao Te Ching. More recently, courage has been explored by the discipline of psychology.

Personal Thoughts
By definition, I have shown with my actions both physically and morally that I have courage.
Physically I have endured physical pain and hardship in my life. Actually, I can point to only two instances in my life where I have "backed down" from the threat of physical pain or intimidation. The first happened in junior high when I developed slower than other kids and was physically intimidated by one of my classmates. This is the one instance I feel I should have stood up for myself (or others), but did not. The other instance happened about 5 years ago while traveling in Paris. A man approached the people I was traveling with and was being very disrespectful to them. Although this may fall under the category of "wisdom" as it was very late at night and he certainly may have been on (and/or carrying) something...I confronted him, but decided it was better to walk away instead of trying to be "courageous".
I can also point to times where I have had hardships (lack of food, water, basic necessities) and instead of doing sometime immoral or illegal have had the courage to act rightly.

Regarding moral courage, I have not "acted rightly" as often as I have with physical courage. Maybe because it's easier to say nothing when I hear an off-color statement or joke...or because it's easier not to cause confrontation, opposition or discouragement by saying nothing over saying something. I have not "acted rightly" as often.

On the other hand, after working in an industry rife with scandal and shame for over a decade (the financial services industry - e.g. Bernie Madoff, Lehman Brothers, countless brokers who have ripped off their clients), I hold it up as a badge of honor and can proudly say that I ALWAYS acted in the best interest of my clients (personal or business clients).

Now, I also know that courage is relative. Am I as courageous as a soldier going off to Am I as courageous as a child sold into even close ( But in the context of what my life has thrown at me thus far...I feel I do have courage...and will do all I can to continue that act.

365 day challenge - day 140

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