When I think of the word COURAGE I sometimes think about the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz — although, truthfully, I never thought that was an appropriate name. He was certainly fearful and skittish, but he wasn’t a coward. He showed what it took to be brave when he travelled to Oz in search of the courage he believed he was lacking.
Spoiler Alert: The Lion always had it.
I have previously blogged about courage (The Necessity of Courage, Sept 2020), but I wanted to share some additional thoughts on the concept. As a reminder, here are a couple of points that I emphasized in my previous post:
Having Fear isn’t the Same as Lacking Courage
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
It Takes Courage to Lead Change
You build your ‘courage muscle’ daily, by being courageous in little things. Just do right.
It’s an interesting thing — courage. Some of us seem to have lots of it, and others not so much. Why is that? Why do some people seem to head off into the unknown more easily than others?
Here are 3 facts about courage that might shed some light on the issue:
You DON’T HAVE COURAGE when you’re born;
You OBTAIN COURAGE by doing uncomfortable stuff; and
You INCREASE YOUR AMOUNT OF COURAGE by using it.
And, most importantly you NEED LOTS OF IT if you want to effect change.(SIDE NOTE: If you’re seeking to effect change, make sure the change you seek is sound, logical and needed. Change for the sake of change is just a waste of time)
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
It goes almost without saying that it takes a significant amount of courage to change the status quo — especially something that is cherished or longstanding. It’s not uncommon to be confronted with a pretty strong emotional response from some when you suggest a change. It takes courage to withstand it’s onslaught.
I found the following list of personal traits a while ago while internet surfing at currclick.com. The traits speak to the ‘human’ part of our existence:
It’s an impressive list — a list that speaks to some of the most important things we value about ourselves as compassionate and competent people — traits that we hope are imparted to our children. As a parent, I want my own children to have these traits — to be proficient in these characteristics so that as adults they can thrive and be happy in our increasingly fast-paced and, some would say, depersonalized world.
Take another look at the list — a closer look — but this time tell me which traits are actually assessed in schools by having all students take a standardized assessment or exam. I’ll wait — go back and take a look.
No … you didn’t go back and read them again … I’ll wait for you to finish.
If you couldn’t find a single trait that where all students are assessed in BC using a standardized assessment you’re correct … NONE OF THEM. Not ONE of these really important traits is evaluated using a provincial standardized assessment, or any standardized assessment for that matter.
Courage – Hard to Measure But Still an Important Life Skill