One of the finest qualities of being human

"Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount."
— Clare Boothe Luce, Reader’s Digest, 1978

"We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better."
— C. JoyBell C.


In order to explore the positive quality of courage, it helps to understand the negative characteristics of fear that keep us from doing what we want to do—but are too afraid to do.

We develop courage when we “really look our fear in the face,” as Eleanor Roosevelt once said. And when we do that, we discover what John McCain meant when he said that courage was “not the absence of fear but the capacity to act despite our fear.”

Therefore, it is helpful to know what frightens you or requires you to find the strength of courage that you previously did not know you possessed.

By answering this first group of questions, you will discover that you can become master of your fear, rather than its victim.

What is your greatest fear?

When you look back on the last time you overcame something that frightened you, how did you decrease your fear enough to act with courage?

What has fear taught you?

When you are afraid, to what can you surrender other than your fear?

Exploring COURAGE in Your Life

What does it mean to have courage?

In what way has courage carried you through difficult situations?

When do you most need courage?

What symbol best represents courage—something that can remind you of this important quality when you first notice you are frightened of someone or something?

This exploration of courage was created by Arlene Harder, MA, MFT, resident of Villa Gardens, a Front Porch Retirement Community in Pasadena, California. The material is not copyrighted and may be used with attribution. (Photo by Abhiram Prakash on the Pexels website.)