When you feel hopeless or face obstacles, courage is the one thing that helps a person keep moving forward. In our current society, changes frequently happen, and you can either choose to fear and panic in terms of confronting this change or draw upon your inner self and try to move forward.
Rollo May, an American psychologist, says that courage is something we should work on to live a meaningful life. Moreover, he insists that courage is not just a mere emotion but is the foundation of all other values and virtues of our personal life.
Four types of courage
Courage is a foundational emotion that every human being should have. It allows us to exist in society with meaning and brings about the ability to change ourselves and society. In this blog, you will find out about the four types of courage: physical, social, moral, and creative courage.
Physical courage is the type of courage that uses the body to showcase sympathy and develop empathy. People who possess physical courage tend to make sacrifices every time they choose to display this type of courage. They go as far as putting their bodies at risk for the betterment of others. One of the most excellent examples of people exhibiting physical courage is the firefighters who bravely walk into buildings being consumed by fire to try and save the lives of strangers.
They are willing to take the risk of possibly getting injuries or even facing death. If they do not have physical courage, they will not choose this line of job in the first place, knowing the risks that come with it.
Social courage is required if you want to be intimate with others meaningfully. This type of courage is all about putting oneself out of the social bubble and establishing relationships with other people. And while it may seem like a fundamental skill to survive, developing relationships requires an investment of your emotions and time.
Like monetary investments, social investments can also be risky. Having social courage means you are already aware of possible failures and rejections in different relationships. Suppose you are not socially courageous and are scared to take risks for the sake of social relationships. In that case, you may feel very isolated and lonely at some point in your life.
Suppose you want to stay connected with others. In that case, it is essential that you overcome your fear and start interacting with people, even the ones who are deemed different by society. Social courage includes tolerance of differences in background, mannerisms, and beliefs. A socially courageous individual can accommodate others into their lives to make life easier and feels like they belong to the group.
Examples of individuals who have social courage are parents whose children are disabled. Despite their children being different, they are not ashamed of this difference. Instead, they help the children realize their worth, making society more open to differences.
Moral courage assists a person in deviating from violence. Violence comes in different forms, such as spiritual, psychological, and physical. And people often allow these various forms of violence because they do not possess the moral courage to stand against violence.
For example, people can stand by and watch individuals abuse their spouses, children, or other loved ones but will not interfere as they fear getting involved in other people’s business. Other people may also be informed about planned violence but will not report it to the authorities or relevant parties because they are afraid of being caught.
Indeed, moral courage is a complex type of courage to exercise due to the fear of being called “meddlers.” But think of it: if people had the moral courage to stop different acts of violence, violence in society would be stopped, and fewer people would suffer.
On the other hand, creative courage allows individuals to come up with solutions and methods to change society. This usually involves challenging the status quo by going against what the majority does and initiating good actions, even if it’s the minority.
For example, pop culture highlights themes revolving around drugs and sex. At the same time, women are often sexualized and downgraded as mere sex objects. A songwriter with creative courage can come up with a song that talks about none of these popular themes, even though he or she knows that it may not be a hit.
Choosing a difficult road is critical to know that you can still make a difference and show that not everything popular is good and acceptable. You can challenge the idea that women as sex objects should not be the main point of today’s songs, as it can influence the younger generation’s thinking. Moreover, creative courage can also defy death and violence in society by presenting solutions to said problems. Hence, it also comprises social courage.
Another example would be the construction of greenhouses in the middle of the city to help reduce greenhouse gases. Building one in a technology-driven and modern way of living may be unconventional, but starting it could also influence others to do the same.
Others can create movies, books, poems, and beautiful songs that people can appreciate. If people do not have creative courage, they would be missing out on a lot.
All about courage
Courage should be the central foundation of one’s values. It enables people to stand for the principles they believe are correct, even though triumph is not the sure end. The moment you start choosing to go against the flow and flex your beliefs is when you start changing other people’s lives by being able to speak up for those who cannot.
Through courage, our humble morals of being human are being preserved and allowed to develop further. Thus, it means that we would not be able to live meaningful lives without courage. At some point in time, every person must have the strength to muster the courage, if not for oneself, but maybe for others.