Courage

“The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it.”

GK Chesterton, 1908, The Methuselahite

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. ‘He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,’ is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. The paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to live, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.”

GK Chesterton

“You’ve never lived until you’ve almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know.”

…found inscribed on the wall of a bunker in Saigon, Vietnam

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

COL Jack H. Jacobs, Medal of Honor Recipient

 “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all others.”

Sir Winston Churchill

 “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

Ambrose Redmoon

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