: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty



Courage (n.): c. 1300, from Old French corage (Modern French courage) “heart, innermost feelings; temper,” from Vulgar Latin coraticum, from Latin corheart,” from Proto-Indo-European root kerd-heart” which remains a common metaphor for inner strength. In Middle English, used broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts,” hence “bravery,” but also “wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness,” or any sort of inclination. Replaced Old English ellen, which also meant “zeal, strength.”



“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

J.K. Rowling (b. 1965, pen names include Joanne “Jo” Rowling, British novelist, screenwriter, and film producer, best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series; other pen names include Robert Galbraith)

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“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

William Faulkner (1897-1962, American writer and Nobel Prize laureate; wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, screenplays)

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“Everyone has talent. What's rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.”

Erica Jong (b. 1942, American novelist and poet, best known for her 1973 controversial novel, “Fear of Flying,” which explored attitudes towards female sexuality)

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“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”

August Wilson (1945-2005, American playwright, whose work included a series of ten plays, “The Pittsburgh Cycle,” for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama)

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“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French writer, novelist, dramatist of the Romantic movement, who was the most important of the French Romantics)

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“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” — J.K. Rowling


Standing up for our principles, for what we believe is right, gives us tremendous opportunities to discern who our real friends and true allies are. They are ones who allow us to be ourselves and to wrestle with our sometimes challenging and complicated belief systems.

Sometimes it is not only courageous to stand up to our friends, but our parents, grandparents, authority figures too.

Whatever the relationship, to be vulnerable and to expose ourselves takes great courage, emotional intelligence, a strong center, and/or a solid relationship.

I’m bias of course, but I know my children are two of the most extraordinary people on the planet.  Like many of their generation, they are fearless.  They have the intellect and the hear to not back down.

My daughter and I don’t fight often, but when we do we can have had some strong altercations.  But, when the argument is over, we drop it like it never existed.

One Christmas, I was visiting my grandmother up in NYC, my daughter and son also came to visit/  It was a challenging trip, because for some reason Nana was more contrarian than normal, even though I was there to help.

My daughter heard my grandmother fussing at me about one thing or another.  Because Maya had an endearing relationship with my great grandmother, Maya said in her sweet voice: “Nana, you’re bossy.”  Nana immediately piped down when she heard Maya’s voice.

I guarantee, sojourners,  if you continue to be bold, brave, and courageous on every level, life will only be more interesting.

Written with Love, Tonya






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