Posted by: bemyduende | 03/19/2009

Touch 7: Courage – 触覚 7:勇気

I’m touched by a girl, wise beyond her years.

Brooke Gardner, an 11-year-old girl, wrote an essay about courage just months before she would be, unbeknownst to everyone, fighting for her life.

You can read about her story here or watch a video here.  But whatever you do, definitely read her essay below.  It just goes to show that the people we learn from don’t have to be old to be wise.


What Courage Means To Me, by Brooke Gardner

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said. This expresses my view on courage from an accurate point. I believe that courage is the only thing that prevents fear from entering into our minds, hearts, and souls. Courage not only quiets our fears, but helps us form a safe understanding of them. Understanding our fears aids all the more in silencing them because it makes us recognize their, sometimes harmlessness, dangerousness, ways to avoid the confusing, twisted roads of fear.

Though mankind holds many strong and courageous people, there are still some people trying to build the dikes and walls, and some, who dwindle hopelessly and endlessly in their fear because they lack in big amounts of courage. They do not understand the strength, and rewards of courage. Courage is also strong, it not only holds back our fears, but does it with determination. It helps us become stronger and wiser. It aids in strengthening our minds and souls.

Merriam Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines courage as, “Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.” These are also included in the important factors of courage. I would like to note, this quote again, mentions the essential particle of courage, withstanding danger, fear, or difficulty. But it mentions in addition, the need to venture, or persevere. You need to be brave enough to go the extra mile if you wish to gain courage. You have to work hard for your earnings, but only the best things come from doing your best work.

Though not everyone possesses as much of the sensational gift of courage, everyone needs it. It takes courage to do nearly anything; to love, learn, or even smile. There are the times when we need the courage to tell the truth, there are times when we need it for big journeys or pilgrimages, and there are times when we need it to even let out the tiniest laughs and giggles.

Dikes and walls are one of many powerful and inspirational analogies for the true meaning of courage. For if we cease to realize the simpleness of our fears, the flood will soon crash. If we fail in recognizing and understanding our fears, the monstrous frightening waves will arise. If we refuse to build up courage every day, fear will overcome and hopelessness will arrive. Courage is truly the only thing that protects us from our real fears.”


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