Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

The Duke on Courage

“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”

— John Wayne,
American actor

It is good to remember the distinction between just plain not being afraid and courage as overcoming fear.  Who is braver?

If a person is not afraid of horses, for example, and in fact loves horses, then getting on a horse is not an act of bravery, it is just a way to have fun.  Some bronc riders are fearless; others have fear but are courageous.  Observers can’t tell the difference.

This principle applies to more than physical courage.  If a person is afraid to make a difficult telephone call, but does it anyway because it needs to be done, that person is showing courage by facing what is feared. 

It is appropriate that an actor who played roles of brave characters reminds us that we can act brave even when we are afraid. Acting brave can be courageous.


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5 thoughts on “The Duke on Courage

  1. You do it because the cause is bigger than yourself. As long as our eyes are on ourselves fear will rule us, but when the need becomes paramount, we’ll step up to the plate come what may.

  2. thanks to this, I realize how many times in the past I’ve been courageous and didn’t know it.

  3. Christine is right mostly but, we are much braver when others are depending on us, rather than just us. Employees, family, troops under command, whatever.

    Incidentally I have only met one man, commonly considered a hero, who said he never felt fear, and meant it. That man was Jimmy Doolittle.

  4. The Duke… Maybe we was just an actor but I loved what he represented. Just sent ya something…

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