Courage Fri, Aug 05, 2016
I've written before about one of my favorite speakers/authors, Brene Brown. I was listening to a podcast she was on recently, where she was talking about how one of her favorite words is "courage". Not so much the modern meaning of the word, with undertones of bravery and heroism, but more so for its earliest, original meaning.
The root-word of "courage" is "cor-", which is the Latin word for heart, and the original meaning of courage was "to speak one's mind by telling all of one's heart."
As Brene continued, she noted how heroism is certainly needed, but there seems to be less and less appreciation for the original meaning of the word. "Heroics is often about putting our life on the line. Courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today's world, that's pretty extraordinary," she said.
Over the last year especially, I've learned how critical this "vulnerability" part is for successful personal relationships. Too often, we're conditioned to build up walls to keep the vulnerability out, and, most importantly, to keep our vulnerability from others. Vulnerability is giving someone else the opportunity to hurt you, after all.
In a funny twist of irony, the only way to get the most out of just about anything worthwhile, is to give in to the vulnerability...and now it all makes sense: the courage (to speak one's mind by telling one's heart) is courageous (the act of being brave; heroic) because the possibility for hurt is ever present, but the reward is so great.