Courage is not the absences of fear but the ability to act in spite of it. This sentiment feels like the kind of idea that is supposed to be insightful but is really just a second layer waiting underneath the shallow idea that courage means “without fear”. Deeper understandings feel like personal luxuries in our lives, though we have taken up to flaunting our insights to anyone who even glances in our direction. Social media is a hive of bees all bringing and sharing these kind of messages, and more qualified people than myself point to the idea that this behaviour is for self-validity. Ironically, when you are holding up an image of your self in an international crowd of others doing the exact thing you are more likely to find similar shades of the colour you are. Worse is that those colours may seem vibrant or more pleasing than your own. Maybe you even seem dull. It is interesting how these kinds of vacuums suck people in by their hopes and ideals only to berate them with the ugliness they were trying to bury in the first place. Unfortunately, that ugliness within ourselves can breed and colonize with the worst in others out there as well.
Where does that leave courage? In a world that is no smaller than it once was but is easier to be overexposed to? In a place where anonymity gives you a different (or no) face to speak with? I have always been better at asking questions than providing answers, and so can only answer for myself. Retracing back to the idea of deeper understandings, I do not think there is a right and wrong to sharing insight. I am doing it right now, and I am not so sure I even have anything new to say. I think sharing ideas without using them as a sword and shield to charge at the war that can be the internet is healthy for me. I think presenting them as ingredients to be reworked and blended in to something sturdier and more whole is why I am here. As for courage itself, I believe and will always believe it is fighting for and remaining loyal to who you believe you are. The beliefs you carry, the aspirations, the loves, likes, values, and even the things you oppose are the bones of what you will always be. Support those, and support those that you find those things worth guarding inside.
That is what courage looks like to me, and it is up to each of us to understand what it means to ourselves.