So here’s the deal…

I’ve been thinking of sharing some of the essays I’ve written for school. I don’t know if ya’ll want to read my school assignments, but it would be a good way to post more frequently! If you’re opposed, just let me know, but in the mean time, here’s an essay I wrote a couple weeks ago. My assignment was to define a word in five paragraphs.


         Since creation, man has been challenged with various opportunities to show either courage or weakness. Courage is often wrongly defined as boldness, which is often stupidity rather than courage. Examples of courage can be found throughout history and even in modern times. We will be looking at the true definition of courage, related words, and examples of courage in the twenty-first century.
         Going to a dictionary and looking up the word courage, you will find a definition similar to this one: “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.” Although at first glance, this seems like a good definition, it is not correct. As was once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”[I] A better definition would be: “The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, or fear, with self-possession, confidence, and resolution.”
         Words often associated with courage include bravery, fortitude, and heroism. Although any of these character qualities may be found in a person, some people are not given the chance to show them. People such as Todd Beamer and Captain Chesley Sullenberger III would never have become famous had not opportunity come to show their courage. Though acts of bravery, fortitude, and heroism don’t always lead to fame, many famous people have given displays of these characteristics.
         Examples of courage in the twenty-first century include the aforementioned Todd Beamer and Captain “Sully.” Though these two men are certainly not the only examples, we will use them as illustrations of courage. Both of these men displayed their courage in the air, though they differ in that one lived to tell about it and the other didn’t. Todd Beamer was a thirty-three year-old husband and father from New Jersey who helped defeat a small group of hijackers on September 11, 2001. Captain “Sully” Sullenberger is the pilot who landed an Airbus A320 in the Hudson River in order to save the lives of the 155 on board.
         Now that we have seen definitions of courage in the dictionary, looked at related words, and observed two examples of courage from the twenty-first century, we should have a good idea of the meaning of courage. Though not all dictionaries are correct, we found that courage is defined as the ability to face hardship with self-possession. We also saw that bravery, as well as heroism are commonly associated with courage. Though all people have courage in some amount, they must take opportunity as it comes, or else they will show that the characteristic of weakness is stronger than their courage.

[I] Attributed to James Neil Hollingway (a.k.a. Ambrose Redmoon) Also used by Meg Cabot


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