“What is courage? Do you know any truly courageous people? What character traits would define a courageous person? Someone who can climb mountains?”

Perhaps this would depend on whether this was a real or metaphorical mountain, some might say the real ones are easy, and climbing has nothing to do with courage, just everything to do with bravado, and stamina.

Is a person who spends their life doing what they feel they must do, as opposed to what they want to do, a courageous person? You know, the person who bravely caries out their duty to others. Is that bravery or simply foolishness?

What about the firefighter or the soldier, are they brave? Saving lives or taking lives, surely there’s bravery there? Could you walk into a burning building, pull the trigger or go into battle, putting your life on the line? Bravery or simply foolishness? Testosterone and bravado? You decide.

And what about professionals? The people who hold high positions in society, such as representatives of government or professional bodies such as doctors, dentists and surgeons, they’re brave people right?

“Holding such a position must carry certain responsibilities that require strength of character and courage to endure.”

For example, is it a brave thing for a professor – who represents dental surgeons – to be on the side of the children, who come to see his dentists, as opposed to the parents who bring them? Can we just assume, that a person who holds such a lofty position in society, naturally understands his duty?

Does such a person naturally understand that he has a duty to display backbone and strongly advise and educate parents to do the right thing by our children? Surely denying a child time with a dentist, is a reflection of ignorance and neglect, is it not?

The reality is, when it comes to protecting the rights of the child, many professionals are unlikely to ‘commit career suicide’ by siding with the child and admonishing neglectful parents. It seems the parent is the one with all the rights and the child is secondary; another example of our topsy turvy world.

It has been noted that as many as 187,000 fewer children experienced the excellent services of a dentist in 2015/2016 simply because – as the professor mentioned above stated: “parents may have different priorities than taking their child to a dentist.”

Courage and how it’s viewed will obviously depend on the beliefs, views and experiences of the individual. Some may consider the bravest individuals to be the ones who simply devote themselves to living a good life and doing the right thing by the vulnerable.

“Doing the right thing is something that demands courage. Swimming against the tide takes courage. Standing firmly by your convictions takes courage.”

When we truly understand what integrity is, what love is, and what it means to protect the rights of the vulnerable, courage is demanded in such measure, that it becomes hard to define.

When we begin to see our children as the precious – so precious – investment in our future that they are, all of us will come to understand: if we don’t start showing the necessary courage and fortitude needed to protect the rights of the child, professional suicide or not, our future will be lost.

True courage is displayed by those who understand what fear is, and how the human mind may look to rid itself of this emotion, in a negative and destructive way.

Climbing mountains and stepping into burning buildings, is how understanding, emphatic individuals, rid themselves of this fear. Cowards rid themselves of fear by looking to control and frighten our vulnerable. Failing to protect our children is the worst kind of cowardice. A cowardice, that unfortunately for many of our children, is all too common.


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