Earlier I blogged about the death of the courageous writer and poet Maya Angelou. She left us with many words of wisdom. One of her famous quotes deals with courage.
"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest," Angelou wrote.
Each one of us is born with immense possibilities and potential. One of the traits we can choose to develop is courage—courage to speak out for what we believe. Courage to follow our dreams. Courage to love and be loved. Courage to be those things Angelou mentioned: kind, true, merciful, generous and honest.
I have also heard it said that courage doesn't indicate a lack of fear. Rather, it involves facing our fear and doing anyway that which we fear. It is a sign of hope to me that we need not be born with it. Who of us feels that we were? And who feels that she or he always shows courage? It can be developed, however. And it can be nurtured. You can nurture it in yourself. You can nurture courage in others. In fact, I've heard the word "encourage" described as "putting courage into" another person. Similarly, "discourage" is "taking courage out" or another. I like that—and I want to do more encouraging than discouraging.
What can you do today to build up your courage muscle? To encourage others?