Aspects of Courage

We hear of a man standing fearlessly before his house or farm. Standing to protect it and his family against an advancing army or some looting gang: hopelessly outgunned and dying bravely but in vain, unbowed: a victim, partly, of his own  nobility . How we admire this fearless, principled soul who placed honour before survival, and would not flinch or run from those who sought to challenge him or take what was his. A pioneer of courage who  paid the price of honour

We may have read of someone, sitting at his desk, uncovering  some infectious plot, which left unchecked could result in scarring lives. Knowing it corrupt, he looked his employers  squarely in the eye.  Held up a mirror so they might see their characters, and  lost his job while they satisfied their greed

Have we met him. This  brave unbending soul, who, if the moment comes,  will not flirt with compromise or cowardice but stand for what is right and just  against  dark and unloved characters.

How he inspires us to a point just before action. To just before the point where our new principles might be tested in real life.  To just before the point where danger lies. This man who may not be a leader: not in the first instance, but someone who knows where he is and does not duck the challenge. Whose love is simple and based on family and the loyalty of friends. Often low on guile, and a poor publicist. His conduct may not reach the press. Not at once. Some years later possibly, when all threat is gone, we might come across a record of the incident. Some record quietly buried at the time, now making itself known  at last  so we, far from culpability, can share the outrage at his fate.

Mortal, guilty and afraid, we seek our inspiration where we can. Not just to climb mountains, or conquer some bright stage, but just to live as we should live: be aware, and grow to be a man.

I am an ordinary being, and full of failings just like you. We are all human and fallible at that, and facing both moral and physical difficulties, sometimes beyond the boundaries of our courage. Each breath we take is nearer to our last, but somewhere far from danger and away from the frontline of the everyday can we  find strength in the world of the imagination?

We could reflect again on a  dream of living ” Live in the music”.  In those notes which rise above the clouds, and take the hearts of those who hear them to a different land  To some gentle  place unstained by cowardice.  Where man forgets the mirror of his past, and dressed by angels, feels the warm sun gently on his face.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, employment, faith, Life, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Aspects of Courage

  1. says:

    And the courage also comes from carrying on and re-inventing ourselves. To not be defined by our circumstances takes courage with each daily breath. A hug for you P x


  2. Very well written ! I wanted to stop by and tell you that I can comment again 🙂 Thanks again for your kinds words when I was losing patience with that.


  3. What a journey this was. I really loved: To some gentle place unstained by cowardice. I’d like to live there permanently please.


  4. I think our Western culture has an odd definiton of bravery and cowardice. It’s brave to fight; it’s cowardice to surrender. Perhaps in some cases that’s true. But for me, the truly courageous soul is one who dares to look inside oneself and take full responsibility for ones thoughts, beliefs and actions. The coward is one who never dares to look within and is always striking out at one or anything that challenges him or her to examine ideas or actions to which s/he is so blindly attached.


  5. A lovely thought provoking post . I alwYs feel a frison of excitement when I see a new one of yours😊

    This brought to mind two quotes “to thine own self be true” ( very much easier said than done) and “Courage is fear that has said its prayers”



  6. babs50nfab says:

    Long live the whistle blowers! To risk everything you may have slaved for to expose an injustice is the bravest thing I can think of. Love this piece Peter.


  7. nelle says:

    Cowardice is an interesting thing to explore, and in the end, I wonder if it is more confusion overload powering a retrenchment to sort more than anything else.

    We are curious creatures, our operation complex. I’ve come up with a major fail when faced with dire circumstance. I’m not proud of it, but from it I learned a lot, shook away those things that had adverse impact on my life, and aimed forward.

    We earn scars in life, and sometimes we inflict them. What we do after the fall also counts as a test.


  8. Julie says:

    I think it’s brave of you to post day after day. At least for me it is! Nice job as always Ducks.


  9. eof737 says:

    Peter, you writing soothes me and gets me thinking beyond the facades of daily acting and living. TY! 😉


  10. I always love your comments. I didn’t know you had a “personal” or private Blog as well. I have enough trouble just maintaining one !


  11. Lafemmeroar says:

    Your posts always inspire and motivate me … so soothing to the soul. Another great one. Digging this one …


  12. Writerlious says:

    So insightful! What an inspiring post. 🙂


  13. *** Where man forgets the mirror of his past, and dressed by angels, feels the warm sun gently on his face.***

    Peter, you always move me. Your words soak into my soul.

    Thank you. Xxxx KISS from Minnesota.


  14. The entire post is superb, but the final paragraph was truly inspiring.
    Well done.


  15. renxkyoko says:

    Countingducks, I’m living with heroes of the People Power revolution againts the Marcos Dictatorship in the Philippines…. my parents. My parents went into hiding for a while, and my siblings who were 4 and 5 years old that time , were sent to different friends’ homes to be taken cared of while my parents were fighting the dictators.


  16. Wonderful. Quiet strength and courage is truly something to be admired and strive for. You have such a way with words!


  17. Al says:

    This is so well voiced it’s almost as if you have had a personal experience that fits this description to a tee.


  18. Purely.. Kay says:

    i LOVED this countingd :). Courage is definitely something we all should have especially in adversity. As always, your words start off my day int he right direction


  19. Aurora HSP says:

    So beautifully said, loved the entire work but the closing was just so moving, thank you 🙂


  20. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    This is excellent, CountingDucks, excellent. But you know, I particularly like:

    Held up a mirror so they might see their characters, and lost his job while they satisfied their greed

    You always have me reflecting…


  21. I am always in awe of those ‘small’ acts of courage when they are made known or perhaps I see them as others don’t. Of course the great reported ones make one notice, but everyday there may be a chance for any of us to overcome fear to ‘let right be done’ without any fanfare. I believe that is what character is all about.

    And, oh, that last line in so beautiful!


  22. Beth says:

    “Character is what you are in the dark.” Dwight L. Moody, American evangelist (1857-1899)

    They may be old words, but they’re still relevant today.

    Of course, the other thought that came to mind was the debate of right v. might in T.H. White’s “Once and Future King” where Arthur struggles to determine if right is might or might is right. (You didn’t know I was so literary, did you?) I would argue right is might. Where one does what is right is where the strength lies. Not forcible, visible, physical strength per se… but strength of character, will, and resolve. Given the choice, I’d rather have the latter. Integrity can’t be bought or sold, but we can cling to it and take heart that we have done what we ought.


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