Churchill On Courage

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

Winston Churchill

   I don’t usually consider myself a man of courage. I’m more often the man who watches others, wishing I had their courage, berating myself over everything I could accomplish if I were just brave enough to make myself do what I know I need to do.
   That’s not to say I’ve never accomplished anything. I spent twelve years in the Army, including a year in Iraq; I’ve been married to the same beautiful woman almost seventeen years now; I’m a manager and a recognized expert where I work; my kids are confident, smart, high achievers who don’t seem to have any of my issues; I’ve spent several hundred hours teaching my peers; I just self-published my first book; I’m in the process of beating colon cancer. All of those, I guess, require some level of courage if we believe Mr. Churchill above.
   But it’s one thing to know I’ve accomplished a few things, and something else entirely to face the next challenge–and to me, I seem to come up short at least as often as I succeed. So this blog is more for me than for anybody else. Maybe exploring courage in this format will help me understand a little better what it means to be courageous.
   I know a few things about courage:
  • It’s about more than just facing physical danger. In many ways, the moral component of courage is more critical than the physical.
  • Everybody needs it, not just members of the military, or firefighters, or police, or astronauts, or extreme sports enthusiasts.
  • You don’t learn courage by watching courageous people. You learn it by acting with courage.
  • It’s not always courageous to follow the crowd, even if the crowd is set on taking bold action. It might take greater courage to take a stand against bold action.
  • Boldness is not always the same thing as courage.
  • People of courage don’t usually seem to think of themselves as such. Usually, they say they just did what they had to do.
   You’re welcome to join me if you’re curious to explore courage with me. But I’ll be here, trying to figure this out, whether or not you are.
   It’s time I learned how to make courage part of my life–not just every once in a while, but every day.
   (By the way–you can find the quote above and many, many more at
I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.