Here’s another disclaimer. The Explorers; A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success, is back at the library so I can’t refer to it. And, besides, this blog isn’t about researching a topic. It’s about my random thoughts and how I related them to silence, solitude and simplicity.
This resistance is write is more about self-discipline and perseverance, than courage, but, as promised, here are a few thought about courage. Keeping true to the cliché that blogs are ‘all about me,’ let me begin by saying that I am not a courageous person. Of course, that refutes what others say of me, which is my very point about courage: Courage is attributed to one person by another person, not by the person herself.
Although I’ve been told countless of times that I’m very courageous to travel by myself, and even to go to the cottage, I don’t consider either of these courageous acts. No way; it’s just what I do. Those who couldn’t possibly travel alone or leave family to live a hermit’s life on the sea coast in the winter, perceive what I do as incredibly courageous. The truth is that it appears courageous to them, because it’s the kind of thing that can’t imagine doing. It’s a Catch 22. When we are in awe of what someone else can do because we don’t have the courage to do it ourselves, we bestow upon them the trait of courage. Isn’t projection handy?
However, sometimes, in retrospect, we can acknowledge that we acted courageously. I haven’t been tested, but let’s say I saw someone flailing among an undertow at the beach and went in to rescue them. After it was all over, I might say that I had been courageous, but it wasn’t courage that sent me into the water. Courage in never a mental decision.