Moberlys' unorthodox approach to Biblical Literature is sexy and intelligent. A teacher, father of seven and man of God, Thomas L. Moberly..
Courage Is Honorable
Face-Off With Fear
Many of us gather up all of our courage in order to face-off with an ordeal of immensity, such as cancer or significant loss. Do we all have the potential to be brave in the moment of truth, that brief period of time in which any human decides whether to run from their fears or stand and fight? Courage comes in so many forms, and the situations are plentiful in which courage is necessary to survive... we can not always run from what frightens us.
We see courage come out of people in the most unexpected ways , and we may see fear affect a person in way's we wouldn't have foreseen. Brave people assume the title due to consistent acts of courage, but what would happen if we were to throw a spider onto a brave young man... ? Not everybody would lose their image of fearlessness in this scenario. However, my point is, when does a persons character truly identify with being of courageous behavior? And is it enough to call that person a brave person?
Honor And Integrity
Personally, I find it hard to agree that a thief should be called courageous. But then we meet Robin Hood, Truly a Heroic Outlaw of the English Crown. My opinion is that we create a hero from Robin Hood not because the danger and risk involved in robbing armed carriages owned by wealthy noblemen, this only makes him a bandit... albeit daring. Robin Hood's courage is demonstrated as we look into his morals and how they align with his actions. He faced inevitable danger and risked his life and the lives of his men. Countless times he did this while knowingly fighting an enemy that was larger and stronger than himself. But he did all of this because he believed that it was right, his actions were devoted to people other than himself and problems larger than his own. He stayed true to his moral compass and endured grief, pain and suffering from all angles.
Any person would experience fear, facing the hazards that Robin Hood did. The difference is that most people would probably have caved to the pressures and stress of that kind of danger. Really, when is the last time you've experienced a bad traffic accident, or seen a fatality? Seeing grim things in ones life doesn't qualify a person either, what i intend to draw attention to is the fear, it's intensity and it's origin of nature.
Fear: A Primal Instinct
Fear Is Natural
Fear has driven man kind since the dawn of time. Fear is at the core of our nature, without fear we would not be human... I'm not sure we would fit in anywhere on earth without fear. There are many things that are frightening to a person, especially in todays society.
Things have radically changed since the time of Robin Hood, I mean we are much less likely to meet a life or death situation on a daily basis. We tend to fear things like paying our bills on time, or the wellbeing of our children after curfew hours if their not home on time. A spouse may fear the fidelity of their partner or significant other. And in the animal kingdom, predators are in constant fear of starving, or their offspring starving. And on the flip side of this, a predators main course lives in fear of being eaten, or their offspring being eaten.
The idea of wildebeest young feeding themselves to young lions is fairly amusing to me, but if I were to encounter anything of the sort, I would rationalize that the young wildebeest were sick, at least in the sense that they lacked fear. And if I witnessed a bunch of rabbits feeding themselves to cougars, foxes. bears and coyotes? Really I don't know what I'd make of this, but again, where is their fear? Anyone would recognize this behavior as unnatural. So how does this relate to courage?
Courage Requires Fear
In order to be courageous, by definition, one must first be afraid of something, or to do something. If a person truly lacks the capacity to feel fear, they should probably go get their head checked. This is a sign of severe brain damage. Neuroscience identifies distinct networks between the limbic system to the prefrontal cortex that produce fear when stimulated, chemically or electrically. Even when there are no fearful stimuli to produce fear naturally. Fear is normal, and healthy. Evolution has sewn fear into our genetic make-up for good reason... In Retrospect, to be fearless does not mean to be courageous. In fact, it may mean something is wrong with a persons brain. Also, feeling fear is not a weakness, it is actually a pre-requisite to an act of courage, and a healthy and normal brain function.
Bravery: Courage With Experience
Those that have experience with the things that typically frighten other people, may seem brave to those people lacking experience with the same things. The people with the experience have learned to leverage their fear. Still, it is true these experienced people show bravery, because not only did they encounter something fearful, they also acted or made a decision under the influence of fear. The fact that they were able to act, although they were frightened to do so, gives each encounter a mark of courage. And to behave courageously on a consistent basis would make a person brave. Right? I Think...
Courage: Fight, Flight and Fright.
We freeze up when our fear is stimulated, next we decide whether to fight or flee from the stimulus. Fright is when a person becomes locked-up, not able to decide to fight or flee. To be overwhelmed by fear, unable to do anything at all, paralyzed by what scares you. People caught in this constant fright mode cannot take any action in their lives, they become depressed.
Learning to make decisions under the influence of fear is definitely not an easy task for people already trapped in a paralyzed state by fear. Especially if they are already feeling hopeless and depressed. More times than not, human beings will fall further and further from their honor, dignity and self-respect, stuck in fright mode.
Courage Is Empowering
Life doesn't stop giving us decisions to make, big or small, we have to decide upon our actions. It just so happens to be that sometimes the decisions we must make are subject to the influence of fear. And when we freeze, those fearful things don't just disappear. They will accumulate into much larger, more frightening, balls of scary things. And under these pressures, we tend to start running from anything that startles us. We lose respect for ourselves. When somebody has no respect for themselves, they are deprived of self-confidence and pride. This leads to feeling like their actions lack honor and dignity. This psychological low can be devastating to the the mental well-being of any person.
Humans are cursed by their intellect. We can contemplate on the past and future, this is a blessing, really it is but, it also allows us to create potential threats that don't exist. Interpreting and overanalyzing every situation under the influence of fear that was stimulated by ones self. This is extremely unhealthy in numerous ways, especially when it dominates our relationships with others. Paranoia can creep into a persons every waking thought, if it has them frightened enough to freeze-up.
Courage Takes Action
What if you believed your friend had been stealing from you, but the fear of confronting them left you unable to decide whether to confront them, stop having them over, or stop seeing them completely. Some would likely continue inviting them over to catch them in the act... Then what....? Morale, stealing is wrong, first off... Right? Why not knock your buddy over the back of the head? Could it be fear that prevents us from taking such action? One may feel justified doing this to another... A lot of people would disagree. One might hit the poor guy to hard and really mess him up bad. This one decision can potentially affect somebodies life greatly. Along with the lives of those they love. That could be said for both parties. What if you knew it were true, and chose to confront them? What do you do if they lie to you about it? What if they come completely clean?
Courage is Righteous
We should apply our morals to the situation, and consider the outcomes of various options. When we do, and focus on actions that are selfless and fall in line with what is right by others, you'll find that the fears that we create become recognizable. This allows the influence of those particular fears to subside. Choosing to act with honor and dignity, and what's right by those we love is the first and greatest step towards being courageous.
Commit To Courage
Whether you want to see yourself as being courageous or not is up to you entirely.. I believe that all of us have the potential to show courageous character, and it should be our responsibility as parents, leaders, teachers, and as adults... One should consider this an obligation to fellow members of society, yet many people will never commit to engaging themselves into living the changes they'd like to see in the world, resulting in things just staying the same.
Honesty Is Courageous
One of the most significant changes that I want to see myself? I would appreciate seeing people standing up for one another, and influencing others to do the same. I'd love to witness a world in which people had the courage to be honest, we are all human, we all make mistakes.... The majority of us lack even the courage to take credit for our mistakes. We place blame, fault someone else for our own misfortunes and ignorance. People are prone to waive accountability for their actions. This type of behavior doesn't align with our universal morals, and is a cancer to the hearts of many.
Fear Is Uncomfortable
To be under the influence of fear is uncomfortable for us, we want out of it. The feeling is intense, affecting our ability to think clearly as the moment of action draws near. If we allow the fear to overwhelm us, panic happens and we flee.
Courage Equals Justice
To be courageous.. requires us to fear something, to decide how we will act upon that thing that scares us, and to align this action with what we believe to be morale right, outside of ourselves. Pursue Justice! Not for yourself, but for others. Practice quick action without hesitation or second guessing. Be selfless, kind, and considerate of those around us, alert and aware of your surroundings engaging in the benefit and service of others, for what is fair and right. Forgive those that are selfish and ignorant without encouraging their behavior, firmly reject a bully, don't retaliate or quarrel, but don't allow them to take from others either. Most important in all of this... Have faith in your hearts, that justice and righteousness will prevail over wickedness. Faith is like Wisdom in the respect that both are offered freely, to any person willing to except them, as gifts from the universe we live in. But neither one will be taken by means of force.