Chapter 26. Courage Counts

"One of the most virtuous aspects of moral courage is that it can be practiced by anyone regardless of age, gender, physical ability, or surroundings."

Virtue can be defined as "habitual moral excellence." It's a highly valued character trait that is practiced at all times. Of all the known virtues, courage is the staircase on which all the other virtues step, and without courage, all other virtues become vices. The conceptual opposite of courage is cowardice. We are therefore confronted with the reality that we either habitually practice courage, or we habitually practice cowardice.

What good is a conviction about honesty or fairness if no willingness exists to habitually put hem into action when faced with adversity? Of what use is a code of ethics that hangs on the wall, unimplemented? What good is a vision, a core set of values, principles, and beliefs if you don't have the courage to enforce them habitually?

Courage is unique in that it takes on the form of every virtue at the testing point. When moral courage is tested, it manifests itself in the form of character, honesty, respect, responsible behavior, and compassion. And when moral cowardice is tested, it presents itself in opposite forms to include bad character, dishonesty, disrespect, irresponsible behavior, and lack of compassion. No gray matter exists when it comes to moral courage.

Courage is a universally admired virtue. Every culture, religion, philosophy, and school of thought is dependent ...

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