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Saturday, March 10, 2001

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Being courageous

What is courage? It is state of mind or spirit that enables one face danger, fear or the vicissitudes of life with self- possession and confidence. There are two types of courage - physical and moral.

Physical courage helps one to do the utmost using his body while moral courage is the inner strength of the mind. Spiritualists like Gandhiji and Swami Vivekananda are the embodiment of the latter while wrestlers and racers exemplify the latter.

Gandhiji was not strong physically but his words, sayings and speeches reveal and reflect his courage, which is of a high order.

Physical courage is achieved by exercise. Moral courage is difficult to cultivate. Difficulties are meant to rouse not discourage. As for courage, none can measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust that there will be enough to carry us through the trials ahead.

Moral courage is more effective than physical. The latter must be supported by moral courage. Otherwise its use is beastly and barbarous, uncivilised and uncultured. Such people have been labelled tyrants and despots, bloodsuckers and murderers of humanity.

All great social reformers, religious leaders, scientists and statesmen cultivated the spirit of moral or mental courage. The success of such people in impressing humanity is a rich tribute to the principle of moral courage.

Moral courage is more forceful. "Will-Power" is another word for moral courage. It was the will of Napoleon Bonaparte that made him a great emperor.

Thus moral courage is more important and effective than physical courage. We can see that the best results are achieved when both are used to complement each other and so let us strive to cultivate both physical and moral courage.

AJITH MURALIDHARAN, X E

P.S. SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL, Chennai

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