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When asked to explain courage, I thought it would be easy. I then began to think on it more in depth and realized I have never needed courage as the people I have read about in the history textbooks did. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up for what he thought was right, along with others in that movement such as Rosa Parks. I had to use these people as my guide, I thought of more modern heroes like Malala Yusafazi to give me my definition of courage. I decided that they would have to do and that I get their legacies right with my definition.

Courage is when you put all of your fears and weaknesses behind you to face the obstacles that are seemingly impossible to face. Courage means being who you are and saying what you mean. Courage means standing up for your beliefs and facing your fears.

Courage does not mean that you need to be fearless. Courage is something that comes naturally in a time of distress. Courage is like patience, it is very valuable in a time of need. When a person uses courage they use the well of righteousness that rests deep within their person. Once this is done that person can do the necessary act filled with courage.

Many people believe that heroes are the only ones capable of courage, but that is simply not the truth. Everyday people have the capacity to be their own type of hero. Anyone could be a courageous person because everyone has the feeling; the instinct to be courageous. It is up to them on whether or not they act on that instinct.

In his poem The Things That Haven’t Been Done, Edgar Guest asks questions that many fear the answer. “Are you one of the flock that follows, or Are you one that shall lead the way? Are you one of the timid souls that quail At the jeers of a doubting crew, Or dare you, whether you win or fail, Strike out for a good that’s new?”

Deciding to lead rather than follow is a very daunting challenge that people face. Some have no issues leading, but to others it may be the hardest thing to overcome. How does one become courageous if they fear so much and cannot be free? One must accept that they are in good hands and take the advice of Robert Frost to take the road less traveled.

-Maddy

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