Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 20, 2015

Connor Dean, Sec. 8 -- This I Believe: Courage, Resolve, and Imagination

Part I: Courage - A Life Lesson from Kickboxing

            Courage is a very important thing for people to have. That may come off as the most cliché statement to have ever been written, but it’s true. I know I don’t look the physical type, but I actually used to be into kickboxing. I did it for over four years. It was one of the most thrilling activities I’ve ever engaged in, but it was also the window to some of the most terrifying and intimidating moments in my life. I stepped into matches with some of the toughest types of people there were: UFC fighters, Black Belts, and even the First Alternate on the US Olympic Sparring Team. These people were the toughest they come, and they all had the credentials to kick my butt. Courage is the only thing that helped me step into the ring with them.
            That may seem to be an extreme example, but here’s the point: all throughout life, we as human beings are going to face opposition in anything we do. And sometimes, that opposition isn’t going to be something easy, like taking a test or having to write a paper. Sometimes your opposition is going to be a towering, muscular mass that you have no idea how to handle, speaking metaphorically, of course. One day you might be going to a job interview and find out that every other candidate is more impressive than you. Being in a situation like that feels hopeless, and that’s where courage comes in. Courage is what gave me the fire to step into the ring, to face down whatever might come my way and let it know that I’m not going to go down without a fight. Courage is what drives human beings to overcome adversity.
            I take that courage with me everywhere I go. It’s not because I believe I can punch and kick my way through every problem I come across, but rather so I can look at each of those problems and consciously decide that I can overcome whatever may happen. Every major person in the history of mankind had to have courage to state what they believed and to fight for that belief. Martin Luther King, Jr. had that courage. Gandhi had that courage. George Washington had that courage. So I carry it too, because courage is what truly drives people to accomplish their dreams.

1 comment:

  1. It may have been courageous for YOU to step into the ring. For me it would be foolhardy. As Aristotle and Plato both knew, courage is always relative to a situation and one's own capacities.

    And then there's the matter not of personal but of social and political courage. Do we have the courage to rethink social arrangements and ways of living that aren't working? Do our leaders have the courage to lead us in that direction? Or is fear of losing elections, or losing familiar lifestyles, going to be our undoing?