Courage

When I was a seventeen-year-old boy I was overly concerned to know if I was brave or cowardly. Don’t even think of it. The world will let you know whether you wish to learn or not.

When I found I was brave it was simply an annoyance. Bravery does not give you wealth, or women, or leeway with the rules. Primarily it brings a crowd of slavering strangers who want you to tell them things which you do not wish to discuss. Especially with strangers. Or at their convenience. These voyeurs are not even interested in accuracy.

Some may say you get an interior sense of confidence. But that was already there. One just gets a mental label for the feeling.

“Courage!” he said, and pointed toward the land,
“This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.”
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.

 

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