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According to Webster, courage is the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” The root of the word courage is cour, which comes from the Latin and French words for heart.
I love the idea that courage is the ability to act from the heart in spite of fear. It takes a great deal of courage to truly live a nonviolent life. Because I’m truly dedicated to the practice of nonviolence I often find myself running against popular opinion and having to speak up and take a stand about the violence that permeates daily life. I’ve learned to take a stand in a loving and kind way, and sometimes that takes real courage.
Fortunately, the more I anchor into being a place of love, the more people are able to hear what I have to say. They can hear me because in their heart they can feel that I am not against them, I’m for love. This is precisely how people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi were able to change the world so dramatically. They had true courage. They taught courage. They were not against discrimination and hatred and violence, they were FOR Love. They were for Love to such an extent that they could Love their enemies enough to win them over. That’s takes courage and compassion.
The famous American aviator Amelia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace.” It is by this simple truth that many a great wayshower, from Jesus to Nelson Mandela, has lived an extraordinary life.
Now that I am determined to live a nonviolent life it becomes easier to find the courage to speak up with Love than it does to find the ability to tolerate the violence. It’s that simple. Today I discover peace through making courageous decisions.