One of the biggest regrets I ever had in my life was walking away from a fight back in high school. Although later that year, I took on the biggest tough guy in school (who had been expelled from several other high schools) and got the better of him, the fight I walked away from is the one that sticks in my mind.
As a young man, I was in several physical altercations after that, one included getting hit in the head with a sparkplug wrench; another where I took on two gang members at once, knocking one out which caused the other to run away. But the one that I remember most clearly is the one that I didn’t engage in.
Shakespeare said, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”
Perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but you get the idea. Nothing stings like fear. For it stings again and again in remembrance. One can’t go back and exorcise one’s own demons. Once acquired they live forever in the mind. Time may dilute the ache of past faintheartedness, but it won’t erase it.
Faintheartedness. Good word.
Courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. It comes from a Latin word meaning heart.
I read somewhere once that there were only two conditions in life—fear and no fear. That may be an author just being dramatic, but I understand it well. In every action you take you either have fear or no fear. Even if you have only a little fear, it’s still fear.
And I’m here to vouch for the fact that “no fear” feels a whole lot better. You will find that when you are fearful bad things happen, and when you have no fear they don’t. It’s really the law of physics at work.
Fearful people resist bad things happening, so bad things happen to them. To illustrate this in a silly way do this: walk up to the nearest wall and push lightly. Now push harder, then harder still. You’ll find that the harder you push the wall the harder the wall “pushes” back. Now, stop pushing. Any push back from the wall?
I refer you to Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
You fear the teacher calling on you for an answer when you’re unprepared. She calls on you. The next day you come back completely prepared, and she leaves you alone. Teachers aren’t mind readers; the law of physics is at work.
You fear the cop behind you because you know you have a taillight out. He pulls you over. The examples are endless.
A life without fear is the only way to live in an environment that makes an effort to scare the crap out of you with the TV news reporting carcinogens, weather destruction, rapes, and murders, etc.
The state of no fear can be reached. I’m completely serious. And if you cultivate your own genius characteristic of courage, it will truly change your life.
Article by Genius Inc writer Tom Angelbirst