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On Fear and Courage

xXCryptoXx
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12/29/2015 6:17:09 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
"I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. . . The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you" - The Life of Pi (56.161)

In November, me and my friend were walking through a fairground talking. We both did a lot of activities together; we did cross country, we were both involved in a musical production, and we both sing in our school's jazz choir. I was telling her that for me, high school is a superb time to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and to try new things. In fact, I admitted to her that I actually had stage fright but I didn't let that stop me from singing in front of an audience. She was impressed with my willingness to push myself to try new things even if I may be uncomfortable with them. What she didn't know is that my discomfort is actually a bit worse than just stage fright. I have had problems with anxiety since middle school, so pushing myself outside of my comfort zone is much more frightening for me than for many others. I told my friend that I absolutely do not regret any of my decisions to go outside of my comfort zone.

Several weeks later, she sent me a card. It was a thank you card in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Within the card, she told me that she admired my fearlessness. I chuckled at that. Fearless is one word I would not use to describe myself. In fact, I think I am a much more fearful than most people. I reflected for a little bit. The fruit of my reflection was that fearless was not an appropriate way to describe me; a more appropriate description for me would be courageous. I reflected on what it meant to be courageous. My conclusion was that courage is not fearlessness, but rather it is the ability to do something despite the presence of fear. I cannot imagine all of the opportunities that would have been wasted has I allowed my fear to stop me from pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. There are so many wonderful people I would have never met. There are so many activities that I have come to love that I would never have discovered. There are so many lessons that I never would have learned (perhaps including this one).

Within my signature are the words "Nolite Timere," which translates to "Do not be afraid." This isn't an important life motto for me because I am a fearless person. On the contrary, I need to look at this motto as a reminder to myself to never be afraid to push myself outside of my comfort zone. To be honest, I'm not really sure where this post is going, nor am I sure if there is a central point to all of this. I just wanted to share some thoughts I had.

Any feedback is welcome.
Nolite Timere
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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12/29/2015 5:10:49 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/29/2015 6:17:09 AM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
"I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. . . The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you" - The Life of Pi (56.161)

In November, me and my friend were walking through a fairground talking. We both did a lot of activities together; we did cross country, we were both involved in a musical production, and we both sing in our school's jazz choir. I was telling her that for me, high school is a superb time to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and to try new things. In fact, I admitted to her that I actually had stage fright but I didn't let that stop me from singing in front of an audience. She was impressed with my willingness to push myself to try new things even if I may be uncomfortable with them. What she didn't know is that my discomfort is actually a bit worse than just stage fright. I have had problems with anxiety since middle school, so pushing myself outside of my comfort zone is much more frightening for me than for many others. I told my friend that I absolutely do not regret any of my decisions to go outside of my comfort zone.

Several weeks later, she sent me a card. It was a thank you card in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Within the card, she told me that she admired my fearlessness. I chuckled at that. Fearless is one word I would not use to describe myself. In fact, I think I am a much more fearful than most people. I reflected for a little bit. The fruit of my reflection was that fearless was not an appropriate way to describe me; a more appropriate description for me would be courageous. I reflected on what it meant to be courageous. My conclusion was that courage is not fearlessness, but rather it is the ability to do something despite the presence of fear. I cannot imagine all of the opportunities that would have been wasted has I allowed my fear to stop me from pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. There are so many wonderful people I would have never met. There are so many activities that I have come to love that I would never have discovered. There are so many lessons that I never would have learned (perhaps including this one).

Within my signature are the words "Nolite Timere," which translates to "Do not be afraid." This isn't an important life motto for me because I am a fearless person. On the contrary, I need to look at this motto as a reminder to myself to never be afraid to push myself outside of my comfort zone. To be honest, I'm not really sure where this post is going, nor am I sure if there is a central point to all of this. I just wanted to share some thoughts I had.

Any feedback is welcome.

What's ironic is that your conclusion on courage is basically the same idea as a quote said by Mark Twain: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of."
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
cybertron1998
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12/29/2015 5:13:38 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
had to re put my sig in
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
lannan13
Posts: 23,111
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12/30/2015 12:41:14 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
I believe the saying, "Courage is the ability to be brave a few seconds longer."
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xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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12/30/2015 12:54:10 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/30/2015 12:46:27 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Nah you're fearless. If you were courageous you wouldn't have come back to DDO, but you clearly don't feel fear.

Ya know, I have never left DDO. There have been times where I have been more or less active, but I have never totally left.
Nolite Timere
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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12/30/2015 12:58:56 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/30/2015 12:54:10 AM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 12/30/2015 12:46:27 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Nah you're fearless. If you were courageous you wouldn't have come back to DDO, but you clearly don't feel fear.

Ya know, I have never left DDO. There have been times where I have been more or less active, but I have never totally left.

Oh. Well look what your inactivity has done to this site lol.
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