By Juliet Rogers, Sierra Leone
Courage is the grace to demonstrate bravery, and capability to accomplish difficult task.
For many years, Dr. Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014), an Afro-American Poet, educator, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, civil rights activist who added to these credentials, by authoring six autobiographies, four personal essays, including seven children’s books and six plays which, further accentuated her accomplishments.
She could not have attained this feat, without being courageous and a sticker. As a prolific writer, the first installment of her autobiographical works entitled “I know why the caged bird sings” (1970), brought her to the limelight. She published “A brave and startling truth” (Random House 1995) and “The complete collected poems of Maya Angelou” (1994). The latter was the high point in dazzling, writing career in that, she won The Spingarn Medal in 1994 which has been awarded since 1915 (except in 1938) by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP, in recognition of the highest achievement by an African American in the past years.
The point I want to make here is this: The 1994 publication served as a tremendous guide to those who faced similar challenge(s) Maya Angelou depicted. She wrote poignantly regarding the need for someone to have courage in life, saying:
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without it (courage), you can’t practise any other virtue consistently. You can’t be consistently kind or fair, or humane, or generous, not without courage”.
All the same, I still have the spunk of my own convictions that, ‘Courage could simply be the mind or spirit that enables someone to face challenges of all types without fear. It could include trouble, pains, an adventure, and many more… Don’t understate the bravery of a person with such an attitude in facing these challenges! Beyond all question, as Lee Milteers himself said:
“Courage and enthusiasm are what people truly need in today’s world. STOP RANTING about what is wrong and look for what is good in your life. What you focus on always expands”.
Here is a stirring story of one man’s stout-heartedness during the Sierra Leonean Rebel War which had its dawning on the 23rd March 1991, at Bomaru in the Dea Chiefdom Kailahun District in the east of the country.
Around 1992, it was rumored that the father of a certain man by the name of Romeo Thompson of R&T Ltd was killed by the rebels. Romeo Thompson was then in Liberia. He encountered barricades manned by soldiers, braved the challenges by passing armed rebels, to reach Sierra Leone without let but with one resolve, to: (1) verify the rumor he heard (2)trace his father’s corpse or grave if he was buried that is. He had the mind or spirit to desperately look for his father dead or alive during such troubled times! Without a speck of doubt, such a trip was fraught with a high degree of courage. Wasn’t it?
Without being hesitant, I would say that there is moral philosophy in the story and it agrees entirely with a philosophy put forward by the founding father of the Blue Movement, Bashiru Vandi on the 19th July, 2017 which affirms that, “THE POWER OF THE MIND IS MIGHTIER THAN THE MUSCLES OF EARTHLY PROBLEMS!”
Let me attach an addendum here: When we talk about positive courage – a byword for productive success, resulting from bravery, which has to do with brilliance and capability in spirit and mind, in context; goodness me! The best One can say is that…it vigorously prepares the soul to stand tall amid life’s storms. I am not saying that from the standpoint of a pessimist mark you, but that’s just the size of it.
Ambiguity apart, one must put into action the courage to fail and the courage to rise above failure in the confrontation of life’s compeling situation….The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezo says clearly that his willingness to fail makes him a successful innovator, which is a brave admission from the founder of one of the world’s most forward-thinking companies. Bezo further explains: “I cannot overstate how important incremental innovation is. But for the big innovation, you have to be willing to fail.”
In pure honesty and benevolence which I have no words for, there’s no short or easy road to productive success. The road is stormy – tempestuous, windy, gusty, squally, boisterous, blustering, violent, rough, wild, furious, agitated and crooked.
All these adjectives above, show how chequered the road to success is, but to try to get there is a task that is hugely Herculean.
Yet with self-determination, persistence and courage, you’ll stand tall amid the storms in pursuit of a desired result. Revolve in mind this aphorism: “The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.” (1)
In the meantime, reflect on these words:
“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” (2)
Amonition: As American politician Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote in reference to her own efforts to enliven bravery:
“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”
Even so, Mary Anne Radmacher further expounded: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
For good and all, “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right (3)
© Juliet Rogers,
Sociètal engineer, Life&Emotional intelligence Coach.
® All Rights Reserved