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VIRTUES & VICES

FEAR vs COURAGE

Intro

This looks like an easy one. In fact, an introduction hardly seems necessary. But let's take a look at it anyway.

Fear, of course, is another emotion, a feeling. Fear, as appositioned with courage, would indicate cowardice.

But that can't be true, can it? Does that mean those Great Minds never experienced fear? And, with this interpretation, wouldn't that mean, if they had experienced fear, in their own words they are cowards?

And look at our heros, both on the battlefield and off, both men and women, they who wear medals and garlands presented to them for bravery. Didn't they, many who were asked, say they experienced much fear at the time, but did what they had to do anyway? Does that mean that in spite of their bravery and display of courage, that they are in fact cowards?

I think, again, research is necessary to get to the bottom of this topic. At first glance it looks so simple. Something to accept with no thought at all. But when thought is applied, it is no longer simple or makes sense.

It's almost as if those Great Minds dumped some maxims on us and said, "Here, go do this, believe that, and don't ask any questions." I doubt that is what they intended, and for all I know, detailed explanations may exist for each of their sayings, and all I am seeing is the headlines.

But that's a plus. If I had their explanation I may not have taken the time and effort to delve into the matter and learn what my intellect, or soul, or whatever does my reasoning, has to say on the subject.

And likewise, I should hope that you question and toss out what I am saying so you can hear from your reasoning faculty.

It would seem, then, that Fear and Courage are not a feeling; that is, if they are intended to be placed in the same category. And if they are not, than it is as if reading a mystery novel, and the writer brings a solution, at the last minute, out of thin air that the reader could not have evaluated.

What is another alternative?

The dictionary says that courage is the ability to disregard fear.

That helps. With this new bit of information it appears as if a person can be fearful and courageous. In face, I suppose that it could be said that a person who does courageous things without experiencing fear might be described as either numb, or stupid.

So now it seems to be coming together. It would appear that fear and courage are not feelings, but behaviors. If that is the case, perhaps courage and cowardice would be a more appropriate title for this section. Regardless, that is how the stories will be structured for this section.

And perhaps my final explanation is just a self-justification.

In Revelations (21:8) the Bible says that, among others, the fearful will have their place in the lake of fire. This has been discomforting to me, because I do, and have all my life, seen myself as "fearful." Oddly though, I haven't really run from any situation that I can recall. I've hidden a time or two, however.

When I add to this how Jesus asked why the disciples in a sinking ship were so "fearful", and that David in Psalms said that we (but referring to himself) were "Fearfully and wonderfully made," it sheds new light, and hope, on the subject.

*The Rollercoaster

The Worm & the Thread

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