Courage

 

Courage is the ability to be terrified of something that you must, or should do and have the testicular fortitude to do it anyway. This is number one in the kingly attributes because it is the most important. Without courage, there is no movement onto the other 8 virtues. Courage is the bedrock on which your kingship should stand. It is what will cement your kingdom. (regardless of how modest it may be) It will base your relationships, and it will improve your finances when done correctly. Courage is the ability to fight opponents both verbally and physically if need be, it is the ability to make hard decisions in your life, and it is the single most motivating force in the life of a dominant man that gets things done. It is a good man’s essence, his Thumos if you will.  Put more simply, courage is an exertion of resolve in the face of great danger or ruin. Running into combat to rescue a dying friend is more courageous than telling your girlfriend that it just isn’t working out anymore. But telling her that it isn’t working is much more courageous than simply skipping town to live in Abu Dhabi. Interestingly enough, some might find the latter more difficult than the former. Difficulty does not necessarily equate to more courageous in my opinion. However, the display of courage is admirable no matter how much or little it takes. 

What courage is not.

Courage is not foolhardiness. It is not brash abandon. Remember as a king you have responsibilities to your kingdom. And your queen should you have one. No King would willingly gamble his entire fortune away, or throw himself into a heated battle which has no hope of a positive outcome. Sometimes the better part of valor is knowing when to walk away. Always be wise when choosing your next move. An easy way to tell this is give an honest opinion of yourself. If you have misgivings about an action, ask yourself, “Is this because I am scared, or is it because the risk outweighs the rewards.” 

Courage in the face of danger by its very explanation exerts a feeling of honor driven action. This is a correct summary. As a king, nothing is more important than your Honor, and Courage must be implemented in order for you to keep it. Hence its place as number one on the list. All roads lead to courage. 

Courage is twofold in its manifestation. The most commonly known, and the greatest is courage in the face of mortal danger. This is the courage that will cause you to defend your loved ones and your group with your very life if need be. It is what is most commonly thought of when the word courage is brought up. The second kind of courage is considered a type of learned courage. The kind that allows you to speak unpopular opinions and uncomfortable truths. While the risk of mortal danger is the most popular form of courage, and as such is idolized the most. The more frequent type shown in today’s society is the learned type. It simply shows itself more often and there are far more opportunities to practice it due to the safety net men before us have laid down in our society. Put simply, unless you are on the fringes of our society (woodsman, military member, etc.…) you will most likely not need to practice mortal courage in the face of certain death. Although it isn’t a foregone conclusion, crime still happens. Because of this, it is still very possible that you might indeed have to defend yourself, your loved ones, or members of your gang. 

The good news is there are ways to ensure if you ever need to use your courage to save the life of another, there is a way to garner it. That is, to practice the second and lesser of the two in your day to day life. If showing courage, and speaking the unpleasant and uncomfortable truth or, doing the unpleasant action is in a way, a primer for the greater act of self-defense and defense of others. If courageous action is your default, then you are far more likely to jump when the need arises. This, mixed with personal training and know how is a deadly one-two punch when it comes to masculine preparedness and the first, and most defining type of Kingship. 

While this all sounds well and good, the question inevitably arises, “How to I begin practicing courage? When will I know my moments will arise and how do I make the most of them?” As with most other things that I write on, it’s a game of inches and seconds, not miles and weeks. When your moment arises, you will know when that is. It gives off plenty of tell-tale signs. (fear usually being the biggest trigger) take a moment to internalize and frame what you are going to say. Feel the writhing in your gut, know that what you are about to do will make you no new friends. Tactfully word your responses and speak them, even if your voice wavers. What you will find eventually, is that while you might make people very angry, you will earn a type of begrudging respect from those around you. You will be known as a man that does not change his mind, or allow his will to be bent based on the opinions of those around him. (A quick side note here. Make sure that the responses you intend to give are factually correct. Never make the mistake of confusing arrogance with courage. There is a distinct difference between being wrong and speaking unpleasant truth.) You will sometimes fail, be prepared for this. One of the biggest defining characteristics of courage is that It isn’t an easy thing to do. If it were it would not be lauded as the great thing it is. NOTHING EASY IS PRAISEWORTHY. When you fail, don’t beat yourself up over it. Get up, dust yourself off and move on. One of the blessings here is that cowardice is usually remaining silent when you should have spoken up or simply agreeing with a group of people when your whole soul tells you “This is wrong.” You have multiple opportunities to correct your misbehavior. Believe me, you will get the chance to redo the conversation. 

Finally, a word of warning on courage that involves violence or physical protection of you and yours. Courage is not synonymous with training. The most courageous man in the world will fall to a man of moderate courage and superior training. Always be prepared to back up your words with well and thoroughly worn practice. It will not only ensure that you are the victor. It will also help your confidence, thus enabling you to be more courageous. If I am capable in my abilities, then I can afford to be a bit bolder than I normally would be. Practice, practice, practice, gentlemen. 


This writing was helped along quite a bit by a book Titled “The Way of Men” by Jack Donovan I did not copy it, however it was a great tool and allowed me to think far more deeply about this subject than I ever had previously. I encourage you all to give him a look see at www.jack-donovan.com


- The Jackrabbit has also just started a podcast for men’s self-development and betterment. If you’re interested check it out at 248network.com the podcast is Clog the Cog Radio.