You Can’t Spell “Courage” Without “Rage”

James Walpole/ December 18, 2019

There is a courage of impulsivity (you might just call it boldness), but then there is a courage that has to come after long hesitations or deliberations.

This is a courage that comes much more slowly than boldness, but it’s usually much more significant.

It’s also angry.

Hesitation is powerful. The dread that creates hesitation (and the dread which hesitation creates) quickly becomes bigger than momentary boldness can handle.

Often you can only overcome hesitation with courage born of anger: anger at the outcome of not being courageous, resentment at the long feelings of helplessness, rage against the idea of forming your character around fear.

Of course “anger” on its own may be misleading.

The anger isn’t necessarily an overpowering emotion. It expresses differently for different people. It may be mild irritability for some. It may be a force 10 gale of anger for others. It’s not sudden. It builds up like pent-up charge.

In either case, like boldness, anger helps you to forget yourself enough to act in the face of fear. The destruction of the enemy – whether that enemy is a new law, a marathon, or an actual enemy – becomes more important than your ideas of what self-preservation looks like.

Photo by Devin Edwards on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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