What is courage? What is a courageous act? It is said that the brave and cowardly person are both fearful. However, it is the brave one who faces his fear and does what needs to be done. We will be faced with many things that scare us throughout our lives. How can we become the kind of people that face our fear and do it anyway? Human growth takes place when we take small steps. Each time we face our fears we become more of the courageous person that we would like to be.
The definition of courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain. Simply stated, courage is nothing but being bold and brave. The root of the word courage is cor – the latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a different definition than it does today. Courage meant to speak one’s heart by telling all one’s mind. By combining our modern definition with the original definition we can see that courage not only means being bold and brave but also means to speak with boldness and bravery. Each one of us need this kind of courage so that we can do things like speaking in front of large groups of people, speaking out about wrongs against humanity, or just talking with a stranger. Courage is something that is essential and very important in life;, therefore, being shy and quiet is not going to help anyone.
By nature, I am a very shy and quiet person. I fear talking in front of anyone I am not familiar with. I also don’t like to discuss personal information with people I am not close to. Therefore, telling my story of courage is a courageous act in itself.
I have been a drug addict for about 15 years. In December of 2012, I was arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine. Soon after, a very close friend contacted me and wanted to give permission to WIS TV in Columbia, SC, to contact me. I gave them permission and soon after, WIS TV contacted me and wanted me to share how methamphetamine and manufacturing it affected my life and how I was able to overcome it. Being the shy and quiet person that I am, my first instinct was that there was no way I could tell my story on the news. Reluctantly, I agreed to do the story, not knowing how I was going to keep my fear from keeping me from doing the interview. I kept telling myself that maybe my story could help someone else out there that was going through the same struggles I faced with drugs. When I met the reporter for the first time, she asked me a bunch of questions that were personal and were very difficult for me to answer, but I answered them as truthfully and as openly as possible. To my surprise, she told me I did great, and she wanted to meet with me again very soon. We ended up meeting 3 times, and what was supposed to be one segment on the 5:00 pm news turned into 3 segments on the 5:00 pm news. The feedback the station got was amazing, and all three segments were a huge success. I had many people that were going through very similar situations or had been through similar situations reach out to me through social media. I was able to help several people with their situation and also developed several new friends. I still keep in touch with many of these people today.
By showing courage in the face of fear, I was able to change people’s lives as well as my life. I still have the same fears, but by showing courage my fears have decreased and are easier to overcome now. When you face fear, will you have the courage to overcome it? You never know when the courage you show today could change someone’s life forever.