Did you know that Aristotle had a lot to say about courage?
He does a most extensive analysis of courage in his work “The Nicomachean Ethics”. Or so I have heard, as I still need to read this epic piece one day.
Nicomachean Ethics is a philosophy into how men should best live, and that to discover the nature of happiness we need to understand what it means to be human.
From what I have picked up from Aristotle’s musing around courage, he puts it on a continuum between the extremes of cowardice and recklessness.
When we are foolhardy and reckless, we act without thinking and take unnecessary risks.
Whereas when we are cowardly, we experience excessive fearfulness and usually flee or avoid the situation.
Courage is somewhere in between, where we have our wits about us to assess a situation and our own levels of resourcefulness, and then take the appropriate action.
Aristotle defines courage as such:
“He who faces and fears the right things for the right motive and in the right way and at the right time, and whose confidence is similarly right, is courageous”.
May we endeavour to find the right-ness for all these aspects, and experience more courage in our conversations.