Encouraging Courage

“Have courage,” we often say to one another. Courage is a spiritual virtue. The word courage comes from the Latin word cor, which means “heart”. 

A courageous act is an act coming from the heart. A courageous word is a word arising from the heart. The heart, however, is not just the place our emotions are located. The heart is the centre of our being, the centre of all thoughts, feelings, passions, and decisions.

A courageous life, therefore, is a life lived from the centre. It is a deeply rooted life, the opposite of a superficial life. “Have courage” therefore means “Let your centre speak”.

~Henri Nouwen

I have spent a lot of time lately reflecting and trying to come up with a short way of describing exactly what it is that I do and why. Defining it in one sentence has proved quite a challenge (as does defining anything in a short sentence pertaining to one’s own life). But one thing I know:

I wish to encourage people to have courage.

The Dutch have a nice way of speaking of this “dicht bij jezelf blijven”, literally “staying close to yourself”. It implies staying close to your heart, close to the core of what you know to be good, right, and true. Not losing yourself in the chaos of the world. Knowing and being yourself.

I believe being courageous implies daring to live in such a way that you can be and become the most you version of you, so we can be the most we version of us, and bring a little more beauty and goodness into the world.