The sixth cardinal virtue: Courage

According to the dictionary: from the Latin cor: heart; firmness of spirit, energy before danger; intrepidness; cheerfulness; bravery; perseverance.

For Jesus Christ: You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its savor, what shall it be salted with? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown away and trodden under the foot of men. You are the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it gives light to all that are in the house. (Matthew 5:13-15)


In the heat of the fight: Yesterday I had the courage to fight. Today I shall have the courage to win. (Bernadette Devlin, Catholic political activist in Northern Ireland)

In a speech: These great masses will have turned their backs on the grave insult to human dignity which described some as masters and others as servants, and transformed each into a predator whose survival depended on the destruction of the other. Thus shall we live, because we will have created a society which recognises that all people are born equal, with each entitled in equal measure to life, liberty, prosperity, human rights and good governance. Such a society should never allow again that there should be prisoners of conscience nor that any person’s human rights should be violated. (Nelson Mandela, who for 28 years was a prisoner of conscience, on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, 10/12/1993)

In the face of absolute evil:
Two rabbis are doing all they can to bring spiritual comfort to the Jews in Nazi Germany. Though in mortal fear of their lives, they nevertheless manage to fool the Gestapo – Hitler’s fearsome police – and perform religious ceremonies in various communities.
They are finally discovered and imprisoned. One of the rabbis, terrified at the thought of what might happen next, spends all his time praying. The other rabbi, however, spends the whole day sleeping.
‘How can you do that?’ asks the first rabbi in alarm. ‘Aren’t you afraid? Don’t you know what might happen to us?’
‘Until we were imprisoned, I was scared to death, but now that I’m here in this cell, what’s the point of being afraid of something that has already happened.
‘The time for fear is past; now the time for hope has begun.’

According to a wise man: Courage is shown in acts, not in words; it is not bluffing, arrogance, or madness. A courageous man is the one who dares to do what he finds is right, and bears the consequences of his acts – whether they are political, social or individual.

A man can obey others for two reasons: for fear of being punished, or for love. Obedience that comes from love of others is a thousand times stronger than fear of punishment. (Mahatma Gandhi, 1869–1948)
 
 

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Comments

  1. eleonora says:

    Coraggio: dal latino coraticum, aggettivo derivante da cor, cordis cuore. L’etimologia della parola parla da sé, il coraggio è una virtù che si identifica con la purezza di cuore. Il coraggio non consiste solo ed unicamente nella sfrontatezza nei confronti del pericolo, esso è qualcosa di più…

  2. eleonora says:

    coraggio è correggere le proprie azioni quando arrecano danno..coraggio è pretendere che anche gli altri facciano lo stesso.

  3. Well says:

    May we understand fear like pain has a warning and protecting function. As such it can be helpful to find and stay on your true path.

  4. Ishwari Thopte says:

    Great article as usual. I couldn’t help but notice that Mahatma Gandhi’s name was misspelt. I hugely respect him and I’m sure it was a typing error but every Indian would appreciate if people stopped misspelling his name every time they quote him.

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      corrected. Thank you

  5. CRISTINA B says:

    Courage is to go on, straight forward, because you know that in the Bad there is always something Good, and in the Good there is always something Bad.
    It is represented, in the Tao symbol, by the little circle of the opposite colours, placed in every one of the two opposite side.
    But the shape of each side seems to move in an endless movement, one running after the other, so it means it’s a dynamic , endless, movement that makes our world go around.
    Our task is to explore our world, to learn, to change, and to teach.
    Thank you Paulo for this image.
    It tells me that you are beginning another pilgrimage, because I remember that years ago, when you where on your last “big” pilgrimage, you posted other subjects like this.
    They are my favourite.
    Love.
    Chris
    PS am I right?

  6. Cristina says:

    Coragem!! Dom divino, q Deus nos inspire.

    Bjos, Deus te ilumine Guerreiro

    – mandei e-mail -

  7. Daniel says:

    I often think about courage, and being a WOL. It always leads me to wondering what my convictions are, and whether I live up to them. This is how it feels to me..

    Core

    I’ve lied,
    I’ve cheated,
    I’ve been a disgrace.

    Come out,
    Only now remains,
    Upon the wave’s crest,
    Riding today,
    Abandon judgement,
    Go forward with faith,
    Embrace the path.

    I’m whole,
    I’m pure,
    I’m full of grace.

    and…

    Moral Ground

    Bring forth your armies,
    And I’ll raise my arms to you,
    You may rain down upon me,
    With arrows barbed with hate,
    And dripping with judgment,
    Swords tempered in fury,
    Gilt in righteousness and gold,
    You think your armour will save you?
    I’ll raise but one hand in my defence,
    My fingers at your throat,
    With the ferocity of a lion,
    And the tenderness of a lovers caress,
    Your fear is no match for my resolve,
    As I draw you near,
    Surrender my conqueror,
    There is no defeat,
    When hate is met with love.

  8. Eric says:

    In my profession I’m beginning to think that various problems are all due to a lack of courage. Failures are chalked up to stupidity/ignorance, inefficiency, hesitation, or a lack of commitment in the leaders, followers or both. But a brave person can sidestep stupidity by asking an wise person or expert at the mere risk of looking foolish. If his superiors are brave they’ll say nothing, looking only for a positive result. Cowards will dismiss such subordinates fearing the organization’s image will suffer. Inefficiency can be checked by regularly inventorying failures and successes. It takes a brave person to face and address their faults. (True humility really comes in addressing one’s successes.). A brave person may wait for opportunity, but they don’t hesitate when it comes.. And commitment? Not all jobs fulfill a personal vision. But almost any can be a stepping stone. A courageous person will so commit to cleaning toilets for an hour or a decade if necessary or quit a luxurious job leading them away from their desire in a heartbeat. Yes, courage is the cardinal virtue. The rest are some kinds of discernment.

  9. margherita says:

    IL CORAGGIO !
    Che bell’argomento!
    CORAGGIO = DIRE CIO’ CHE SI PENSA?
    CON EDUCAZIONE MA CON SINCERITA’?
    ALLORA IL MONDO E’ PIENO DI PERSONE CHE NON DIMOSTRANO MOLTO CORAGGIO:
    ESSERE SINCERI COMPORTA MOLTO, MOLTO CORAGGIO PERCHE’ LA VERITA’ OFFENDE.
    MEGLIO RIFUGIARSI NELLA “LEGGE DI JANTE”.
    TE LA RICORDI, PAULO?
    L’HAI SCRITTA TU, MA E’ ASSAI POCO POPOLARE METTERLA IN ATTO.
    CONVIENI?
    CI VUOLE CORAGGIO…
    FORSE ANCHE A ME MANCA IL CORAGGIO IN QUESTO MOMENTO.
    OPPURE E’ SOLO TATTO, DELICATEZZA, AMORE. NONOSTANTE TUTTO…
    AUGURI.

  10. Kealan says:

    Reminds me of a joke.

    Two guys are in the desert and see a lion in the distance. The Irish guy sits under a tree and takes out a pair of running shoes.

    “You will not out run a lion in those,” the other man says to him.

    Irish guy ties the shoe laces and stands up, “I know, I do not have to out run the lion, I just have to out run you.”

  11. marie-christine says:

    COR
    Cor, coeur, heart, horn
    corps body
    coeur heart
    c or it’s gold c’est de l’or
    roc rock (backwards)

    Le coeur est une partie du corps
    c’est de l’or – ,c;est ton roc – c’est ta clef musicale
    the heart is a part of your body
    it’s gold ,it’s your rock .it’s your musical key

    listen to its sound. the sound of your heart
    ecoute le son -, le son de ton coeur
    with love

    Marie-Christine

  12. maya says:

    you said that nobody can flee his heart that’s why we should listen to what it says, but what sould we do when our heart wants something or someone it couldn’t have? when it claims someone who belonged to him on the past but who isn’t anymore ?? what should we do when this heart falls in love with someone who won’t it anymore ?? what’s the remedy or the right sollution to cure a heart which can’t forget its lost half ???? i’m one of your beggest fan, i’ve read many novels of you, and now I wish an answer from my favourite novelist !! hope i’ll have one of your precious advices !! but if you can’t give me an answer and lead my soul i’ll understand ^^ thank you .

  13. Gennarose says:

    Courage is my tattoo. Without courage, all other aspects of character are impossible.

    Thank you for what you do. Your words have guided me and helped me keep faith since I first read El Alquimista in 2001.

    The day before I was hired as a writer I witnessed the southward migration of the Monarch butterflies. Two pursued me down Park Ave. in NYC. This is unusual. I also found that the paper that hired me had an advertisement with a butterfly on it.

    Now I make a living telling other people’s stories, and in doing so, tell my own. Thank you for helping me live up to my tattoo.

  14. Gerardo says:

    ascoltando…vedo un sito pieno di amore e speranza…ma anche pieno di invidia e sfrustrazione…attenzione!!!

  15. katie says:

    if one does not listen to the coer (heart).
    the heart demands coeR Rage.

    I did not listen.
    I fell deeply.
    Nothing there.
    only accepting courage.

    1. katie says:

      edit: I did not listen to the heart

  16. jackienoriega says:

    la sexta virtud:coraje cuanto me ha hecho falta los ùltimos 20 años de mi vida con esta lectura solo puedo manifestar que es hermoso el aprendizaje que nos deja ud. con las diferentes circunstancias que viven los personajes nombrados màs a veces es importante tomar en cuenta tambièn el dolor que podemos hacer pasar a las personas que estan bajo nuestra protecciòn como familiares e hijos pero la verdad el coraje es una virtud muy necesaria para construir nuestra felicidad .

  17. Nancy says:

    I hope this post is about the different forms of courage. Is there such thing as genuine courage? Taking action that is suitable for your path. I am afraid that if I compare myself to another persons courage, then I have not done much.

  18. Marie-Christine Grimard says:

    Le plus grand miracle c’est la vie, avoir cinq sens et emplir son âme des sensations qu’ils procurent: admirer les couleurs du monde, écouter les sons de la nature et la musique des hommes, savourer le sel de la vie, caresser la peau de l’Autre, emplir ses poumons des embruns des océans. Aimer, vivre, respirer, rêver. C’est un miracle quotidien, comment ne pas s’en émerveiller…

  19. Jessica G says:

    I think I might be crazy ;-) How on earth do I think that you have time to help me and my friends with a publishing company …. well I thought I might ask anyway ;-) And if you dont want to you might have some great ideas anyhow ??? If you don´t ask you don´t get any answers I have learned thrue life !!!! <3 Love and light <3

  20. Jessica G says:

    *LOL* a sign ;-) ….. your text miracles only happen if you believe in miracles showed up !!!!
    Well I doooo believe in miracles … they have happened before …. it might happen again ;-)

  21. Jessica G says:

    Well courage I have a lot of .. sometimes too much *LOL* I might be childish and foolish sometimes but somehow I have always get thrue with my feet on the ground ! Well ….. some dreams already has started IRL :-) and I have also develop it. But my next dream is also taking off right now …. starting a publishing company with some friends about Esotericism and spirituality. We just need some more investments to start … so Paulo are you interested in being a part of it ;-)
    If you not interested maybe someone else might be ???
    Well …. sending a little wish to Universe again :-)

    Have a wooonderful evening all <3

  22. Leandro says:

    According to a wise man: Courage is shown in deeds, not words, but it is not bluffing, arrogance, or madness. A brave man is one who dares to do what he thinks right, and bears the consequences of their actions – be they political, social or individual.

    A man can obey others for two reasons: for fear of being punished, or for love. Obedience comes from love of others is a thousand times stronger than the fear of punishment. (Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948)

    These last two were the ones I liked best.
    I have lost many things for fear of making mistakes.
    It says a wise saying, courage is not absence of fear, is the ability to control it.

  23. Irina Black says:

    Сны сущность нашу отражают,
    В полет свободный отпускают.
    Но..чувства,что у разума на службе,
    При пробуждении-пленяют душу.(ПОЛОНЯНКЕ)

  24. Tarek says:

    Antara, a legendary Arab night and poet, said: Courage is but an extra hour of patience! “when faced with hardships”!
    <3

    1. Tarek says:

      Obviously, knight not night :-)

  25. adry says:

    habia una vez una mujer que soñaba con conocer un ser del que habia escuchado desde chica ,el se convirtio en una especie de super heroe ,cuando ya mujer lo conocio ,sintio que era el hombre de su vida ,esa otra parte que tanto buscamos ,pero tambien ese momento supo que no era en otra epoca ,en esta, dada las circuntancias era imposible ,la edad ,el parentesco (lejano,pero parentesco al fin) , diferencia considerable de edad y por sobre todas las cosas ,distancia ,una distancia enorme .
    un dia despues de muchos años de haberlo conocido ,logra contactarse con el a travez de esta magia que es internet ,despues de muchos correos ,logra decirle lo que le paso aquella vez ,todo se vuelve increible ,hasta que algo o alguien se interpone en la decision tomada por ella ,la cual estaba dispuesta a ir a su encuentro ,tiene que tomar la decision,si sigue con su vida monotona ,sufriendo ,pero su vida al fin aquella que vivio 22 años y puso en la balanza,toda esa vida ,la comodidad de un lado ,la monotonia ,el ailamiento ,la sensacion de sentir que esa no era su vida,su marido que a pesar de no demostrarselo ,la queria ,sus amados hijosy del otro ,los sueños ,la ternura encontrada pero le falto coraje o tuvo miedo de hacer sufrir a quienes la rodeaban.
    decidio seguir viviendo esa vida “normal” que muchas mujeres desean ,pero que a ella le vino como una tormenta.
    todo esto se debe a no tener coraje ,como admiro a aquellos que lo tienen.
    benditos ellos
    que es lo que nos falta a aquellos que no lo tenemos? priorizamos otras cosas mas que los sueños? que tristeza.

  26. adry says:

    HABIA UNA VEZ UNA MUJER QUE SIEMPRE HABIA SOÑADO
    SOÑADOSOÑAD
    CON CONOCER EL AMOR ,UN DIA ESE AMOR SE PRESENTO DE LA FORMA MENOS ANSIADA ,UN SR.MAYOR ,VIDAS TOTALMENTE OPUESTAS Y TUVO QUE DECIDIR ENTRE QUEDARSE CON LO QUE LA VIDA LE IMPUSO ,UNA VIDA “NORMAL” LO QUE DESEA TODA MUJER ,ESPOSO ,HIJOS ,,”COMODIDAD”CUANDO SE REECONTRO CON ESE SER ,PENSO QUE LE HABIA LLEGADO EL MOMENTO ,PERO ALGO O ALGUIEN SE INTERPUSO EN ESE CAMINO ,ESE SER CON QUIEN COMPARTIA SU VIDA Y QUE DE PRONTO EL TEMIO PERDERLA ,HIZO LO IMPOSIBLE POR NO PERDERLA ,PARA QUE ELLA NO SE FUERA A ESE LUGAR SOÑADO POR ELLA ,ELL ACCEDIO POR PONER EN LA BALANZA AÑOS COMPRTIDOS ,UNA VIDA DE UN LADO Y DEL OTRO ,SUEÑOS .
    LE FALTO CORAJE PARA CUMPLIR LO QUE TANTO ESPERABA,PERO LO HIZO ,POR ELLA O POR LOS DEMAS ,POR NO HACER SUFRIR A QUIENES LA RODEABAN.

  27. Heimo Kruschinski says:

    Courage. This is an interesting topic. Everything I read here is absolutely correct. As it presents itself in our personal lives? I told my daughter, the word NO is the most important. Even, or especially, when dealing with friends. One must not do anything. Particularly in such situations it is often very difficult to escape from a group dynamics, even when you know that it is wrong. You get scared not to belong to it, what others think about one. Much unhappiness can cause. Courage and truth, the truth about himself, probably have a lot in common.
    It is very difficult to describe courage, cowardice may be easier. In daily life always strikes me again, how happy are people hiding behind empty phrases, talking behind the backs of people, rather than to openly express their opinions. “You can not change anything.” One of the sets. “We’ve always done it that way.” Another. Lame excuses, so I call it
    There is little talk with each other at all, much more about each other. I personally find this amusing. But that does not change the fact, I see no courage, it is simply pathetic. To approach people, requires courage, so that everything begins. This is very difficult, much harder than it seems at first glance. One has to deposed the mask, be open, for most people this is uncomfortable. It is, but it is necessary.

    I wish you all a wonderful day

    1. Barbara says:

      Heimo, it’s so true what you are saying. For example in the little village I live in, people are more talking ABOUT each other than TO each other, and that’s sad. And like Paulo recently said on Twitter “If we walk in the streets smiling to people, they think we are crazy”. I have begun to try and smile to everyone on the street, also strangers, but it’s difficult to keep on smiling if what you get in return is a strange look. Luckily there are exceptions, and it’s them we should keep smiling for. :)

  28. marie-christine says:

    A while ago I was looking at a photograph of my son sitting in a Mirage. The pilot was doing some maneuvers and had to stop for refueling.
    He was allowed to sit inside, after climbing through a little ladder to get to it,
    There was no room to move inside such a confined area. Like being in a cage almost. with the only escape being the parachute.
    You need to have all your faculties to perform such a task at a normal time.,
    In times of conflict, it is a hard act to follow.
    I believe it takes a lot of courage when you fear for your life and you have to make a decision that is going to change your life for ever,
    Many people face it and they do it listening to their fear with faith.
    With love and gratitude

    Marie-Christine

  29. Olta Canka says:

    Courage to win.
    That is making me think now…

  30. RebornFairy says:

    Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ” I will try again tomorrow ” – Mary Ann Radmacher.
    Always love this quote.

  31. Maria says:

    Qdo falo sobre os lugares de luta onde normalmente no se pensa q Deus est agindo,atarvs da luta pela vida, quero dizer eu.
    Mas os poetas tem esse dom de ver alm, e vc nem se fala.
    Por sua causa tento e j consigo mtas vezes ver Deus nas pequenas coisas, nos milagres cotidianos.
    Mas comum que uma hora ou outra em certas pocas da vida as pessoas tenham os olhos nublados e q no conseguem ver os milagres e sinais, no ? A luta tirar a venda dos olhos todos os dias.

    Coragem ! Obrigada…

    Amo vc.

    Deus te ilumine sempre.

  32. Maria says:

    Bom dia Guerreiro!

    Coragem, o dom que peo a Deus todos os dias.E que Deus sempre me inspira a ter atravs de suas palavras.
    Gosto mto dessa srie sobre as virtudes e os pecados cardinais.

    Hj venho dividir com vc um texto q gosto muito, do Caio Fernando Abreu, que fala sobre a coragem esparramada nas cidades, nos becos, nos lugares de luta onde normalmente no se pensa q Deus est agindo.
    Acho mto emocionante, espero que goste:

    http://caiofabreu.blogspot.com/2010/09/zero-grau-de-libra.html

    A primeira frase:
    “SOBRE TODOS AQUELES QUE AINDA CONTINUAM TENTANDO, DEUS, DERRAMA TEU SOL MAIS LUMINOSO”

    to, to, to…voc! Qdo li pensei “isso puro Paulo Coelho” :)

    E o Caio gostava de vc :). Fala sobre Brida no ultimo paragrafo desse outro texto:

    http://caiofabreu.blogspot.com/2010/09/luciano-alabarse_265.html

    Comecei a ler Caio faz pouco tempo, e depois q descobri q ele gostava de vc passei a gostar dele muito mais ehehe.

    Que seu dia seja cheio de benos.

    Que a Mezinha siga na frente, ampliando seus caminhos

    Deus te ilumine

    Amo vc S2

  33. i just want to raise a question about courage… i am now 24 years old and i am also teaching in college.. i want to know when is the exact age one can usually become actualized? is it possible for the young to reallly feel actualized? that’s what i’m afraid of..i used to think i can think like an actualized person…

  34. luce says:

    Dear Nelson D’Silva,

    lovely and worth daily remembering quote

    Thanks
    Luce

  35. Nelson D'Silva says:

    Another quote from Mahatma Gandhi – “I shall rather have violence than cowardice masquerading as non-violence.”

  36. twylah says:

    it’s easy to muster ones courage when one fights the good fight. It’s easier to barge through all the barriers when one believes in what he is doing.Most of all, I believe that love is the best fuel for courage. As they say it conquers all.

  37. Fernanda Signato Marques says:

    A coragem (ou a falta de) está sempre nos rodeando…
    É tão cômodo para nós continuar a vida sempre do mesmo jeito… Tudo seuro, sem riscos…E quando nos deparamos com uma mudança repentina, por muitas vezes titubiamos e falta coragem para seguir adiante a transformação…
    Muitas vezes dói, mas depois, você olha para trás e vê como tudo valeu à pena, como aquilo te fez bem e você se torno uma pessoa melhor… A borboleta sai do casulo
    … E a partir de então, começa um novo ciclo, onde você vai aprendendo a lidar com seus sentimentos e a saber lidar melhor e seguir seu coração… Ter coragem é algo assim: deixar-se levar pelo o que o seu coração te diz e sempre ter força para seguir adiante e ainda mais, rir sempre dos obstáculos e aprender muito com eles!

  38. Mirela Baron says:

    I had courage to say No ,on 5 September 2008.Even the person who made me an offer to worck with his company together, was trying to put me in a very bad dealing position; and I`v risked because of that, my cosmetic studio ,my existence and the existence of my two children,for I`v worcked hard since 10 years!Even I can not pay now manny bills,and I am terified somme how , I still have a very good feeling sommething like sureness to be saying the right thing to the right time!only NO!

    love (the woman in lift)

    Mirela

    1. HI Paulo, how are you? Hope you are feeling allright! I liked the most these words: “A man can obey others for two reasons: for fear of being punished, or for love. Obedience that comes from love of others is a thousand times stronger than fear of punishment. (Mahatma Ghandi, 1869–1948) ”
      I would like to obey for love not for anything else… and I think that I can do that!
      Love and light to you, Gabriela Romaria

  39. Fernando says:

    Ora, nossas almas são carentes de algo que nos façam pensar/sentir, pois ainda que não percebamos, vivemos sempre no aguardo de receber/ver algo que nos permita despertar, fazer diferente, trilhar outro caminho ou apenas conferir se a caminhada se faz no sentido certo da jornada.

    Me inscrevi para receber sua “newsletter”, e quando recebo sua msg, que diga-se sempre oportuna, está na hora de sair da letargia mental, do automatismo, para despertar.

    Fernando/Guarulhos/São Paulo/Brasil

  40. Ladan says:

    There is another reason why you follow somebody, either than love or fear, and that is logic. If you are convinced or believe that the person is right ans what s/he says is right and and should be done, then you follow it, no matter if you love, hate or afraid of this person.

    Paulo, I do not love you , and I’m not afraid of you, but I like your Ideas, so I kind of follow them.

    Thanks
    Ladan

  41. Monika says:

    I like the quote of Ghandi.

  42. THELMA says:

    In order to be able to take action, to move forward, to make a decision, to face reality, to accept circumastances, defeat but happiness and success too, we need courage! It is the ability to proceed without being discouraged by the .. omens. The determination to act, fight and achieve victory, the LIGHT, Eternity and the return to our Father’s House.
    LOVE,
    THELMA

  43. luce says:

    Dear Paul from Austria,

    You are right.

    Love is the worth reason to obey, reason to live, base for courage and the most essential part of Warrior of the Light.

    Love
    Luce

  44. Satora says:

    Once upon a time the devil decided to sell all his tools/weapons to anyone who would be willing to pay the price requested. Each of his tools was labeled and spread out on a table
    Hatred – Malice – Envy – Despair – Sickness – Sensuality
    All the weapons we all know so well.
    But off to the side from all the other weapons was a harmless looking, wedge shaped instrument labeled “ Discouragement”. It was very old and looked quite shabby, but it was the most expensive and priced very high. The devil was asked why this weapon was so expensive and so he answered: “I use this weapon all the time; it is so easy to use. No one realized it belongs to me. With this I can open doors that I am not able to with the other weapons…and once I get inside I can use any tool I want.

    An old fable

    1. ruta says:

      love this fable, thank you for sharing:))

  45. Heart says:

    It takes courage to stand up against lies and corruption, and to face the truth. So often human beings prefers to live in denial. Confrontations are not always the right way to go, because one must be sensitive to the free will of others. In the end, if nobody dares to spell out the obvious, we would remain in misery. So, I believe in gentle courage, mildly trying to convince a listener. To put a ring in a bulls nose and pull him to go in the direction the owner wants, in my opinion, is abuse.