Thoughts that are not Mine: Courage and Fear

..found some ramblings and notes while i was cleaning out my closet..

  • No man is brave unless he is afraid. And if there is anything worth fearing in the world, it is living in such a way that one gives oneself cause for regret in the end.
  • It is what we aspire to be that colours our characters — and it is our trying, not just our succeeding, which ennobles them. The moment you recognize you were after all a contender, you understand that there are many sorts of victories. The idea of good defeats — those which you learn or give, or allow the better to flourish — is an important one.
  • Critics say the middle way blocks the road to progress.  the bold, adventurous, daring act, the quick response, the impulsive choice, even the taking of risks, are what have led to change and growth both in personal lives and in mankind’s fortunes. For impulse is not necessarily imprudence, or does a normally thoughtful life exclude trust in the emotions and instincts. There is a larger prudence in living boldly, because more possibilities for love and knowledge open that way. There are defeats more triumphant than victories.
  • Ordinary life evokes extraordinary courage than combat or adventure because both the chances and inevitabilities of life – grief, illness, disappointment, pain, struggle, poverty, loss, terror, heartaches — all of them common features of the human condition. Everyday demands kinds of endurance and bravery that make climbing up the Everest seem an easier alternative.
  • There is a different kind of courage required for the task of being human: the courage to meet the new and to accept the different in the chances of experience.
  • The Aristotelian man is prudence personified because he always seeks the Golden Mean in any circumstance: courage, for example, is the mean between cowardice and rashness, as generosity is the mean between miserliness and profligacy.

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