What is the one human quality you possess that counts most? The poet Robert Frost believed it’s courage. He put it like this:
“Courage is the human virtue that counts most—courage to act on limited knowledge and insufficient evidence. That’s all any of us have.”
Courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear or indecision. But it does mean we find a way to get an upper hand on fear.
Courage can’t wait until we have all the answers or until the circumstances are ideal or until we know how things are going to come out.
I like the way William James talked about this. We are in life, he said, like a football player on the sidelines. Imagine a football player who said, “I’m going to wait until I see which team is going to win before I get into the game. Then I’ll play for the winning team.”
Or imagine a football player who said, “I’m going to wait until the ideal moment before I jump into the game.”
Life is now. Life matters. We can either spend our life on the sidelines or we can decide what we want to live for and fight for and get in the game.
And no matter how confusing or discouraging or frustrating life may become, we always know there are some things worth living for and fighting for.
For example, you’ll never be wrong to fight for human beings, not against them.
You’ll never be wrong to put your whole heart, soul and mind into whatever you’re doing today.
You’ll never be wrong to love the people you love with no conditions or expectations.
You’ll never be wrong to reach for joy each day.
It’s not easy. It takes courage to fight for these things. We have to reach down deep sometimes.
How deep? Well, the word “courage” comes from the French word for “heart.”
To live with courage is to live with heart.