Setting Aside Fear To Turn Hardship Into Grace
Courage is the last of the 5Cs, the F3 Leadership Characteristics.
Courage Is Not The Absence Of Fear
There is no such thing. All sane human beings have a fear mechanism that is alive and kicking at all times. Whether one believes it to be the product of devine design or random evolution, our built-in fear mechanism is what keeps us alive long enough to participate in the creation of new human beings. Without fear, we would incessantly and ignorantly blunder into harm’s way with deadly consequences. Without fear, the human race would have long ago ceased to exist.
The same could be said of our inborn desire to procreate. Without the sex-drive, the continued existence of the human race would be unlikely. Yet, this instinct to copulate is not intended to rule over us. If not tempered by Virtue, the sex-drive grows into a lust that is inimical to the harmony and health of the Community.
Fear Untempered Is Just As Deadly
To give over completely to one’s instinct to avoid danger, regardless of the consequences, is the opposite of Courage. It is cowardice. If we were all to flea from danger all the time, the Community would be slowly devoured, starting with the slowest man and ending with the fastest.
Courage Begins With The Recognition That There Are Some Hardships That Confront Us That Simply Must Be Fought
A Leader is able to set aside his fear of danger sufficiently that he can Influence other men to fight with him rather than flee. As with the tempering of all human instincts, the ability to set aside fear is a Virtue borne of training. We may be born to run, but we must be taught to fight. Thus, the ethos of Courage is passed from Leader to Leader through the process of Positive Habit Transfer.
A Group that abandons that process is one in which the men will force their way first into the lifeboats and where the ramparts will go unmanned in the face of an implacable foe. It is a Group long for neither this world nor the next.