Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Courage is undoubtedly one of my favorite words and hence, my life's greatest theme. If I ever get a tattoo, it will be the word courage in some funky swirly font on my foot or shoulder blade. It's my favorite character trait and the one thing I strive so hard to live out.

The funny thing is, I have no idea where my obsession with courage stemmed from. It just suddenly became my favorite thing and I can't be sure why. In this post, I intend to put into words just why it is that courage means so much to me.

My favorite kinds of stories are the ones where the protagonist begins as nothing and is forced to work to prove that he is strong. The stories where the insignificant nobody is more a hero than the nobles. Where the hero is the hero because he has courage even when nobody else does.

In the novel I finished writing over the summer, Uritus and the Sword of Fire, I took a stab at defining what courage really is. This is what my hero says about it:

"People so often associate courage with fearlessness, while in reality no one is fearless. Everyone is afraid of something no matter how trifle or insignificant it may be. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to look Fear straight in the face and say, 'You don't own me.'"
 And I think, when it really gets down to it, that is what courage is. Courage is standing up when the rest of the world screams at you to fall down. Courage is rebelling against the societal norm. Courage is fighting for something you're passionate about even if you are the only one in the world who still thinks it's worth fighting for.

I used to love the word fearless. I loved the way it sounded, I loved what it meant, I loved how I thought it could apply to me. But then I actually realized what the word meant: without fear. And since then, I don't use the word fearless anymore. Mostly because it is an unreachable goal.

My greatest fear is jellyfish, followed closely by Duck Duck Goose. Are those fears stupid? Absolutely! But they are still fears, and as long as someone has fears, he or she cannot be fearless. It's impossible. I roll my eyes when people refer to themselves as fearless. "Really?" I think. "You are really afraid of absolutely nothing at all? Not death not pain not rejection not loneliness? Wow. You must be some new breed of superhuman." No. It doesn't matter how much you deny it. It doesn't matter how much you try to convince others (or yourself) that you are fearless.

You are afraid. I can see it in your eyes.

Am I getting you down? If so, I apologize. I'm just telling it the way it is. There is no such thing as fearlessness and if you think there is, then you need a wake up call.

But just because there is no such thing as fearlessness doesn't mean there is no such thing as courage.

It's actually just the opposite. It is because we fear that we can be brave. If fear didn't exist, courage wouldn't either. Because if everyone was fearless, what need would we have for courage? Fear is something we all must face. It is in the confrontation of a friend who has gone astray. It is in the slowly fading heartbeat of someone we cannot bear to lose. It is in the breath before the freefall, and the battle cry before charging into battle.

But fear, just like any antagonist can be conquered with courage.

Everything I want to do in life is going to take courage. I want to move to Thailand, I want to open a home for pregnant teenage girls, I want to be a history maker, I want to change the world. Can I do it on my own? No. Not even if I was the most courageous person to walk the Earth. But with Papa's help, I know I can and nothing anyone says or does to try to prove me wrong will shake me.

My Designer believes in me.

My Designer knows I can do it.

My Designer calls me brave.

And I'd much rather be called Brave than Beautiful.


  1. I adore this! Courage fascinates me too! I definitely need some more courage, my fears are the dark and being judged or hated by other people. Any ideas of how to overcome these? Thank you so much!!

  2. Morgan, fear is a thing that we all must face at one time or another. I don't know if you're a Jesus Follower like I am, but the best advice I have for you is to pray that Papa would help you overcome your fears. Then stop and take a look at all the people in your life who love you and think about all the incredible reasons why they do. I promise you that there will be haters, but you are living a mundane human existence if there aren't any! I'll pray you overcome your fears :)

  3. Thank you so much Charity :)I am a Jesus follower so I will pray for you to overcome your fears as well! And I need a little bit more advice... I am auditioning for a play next week and I am nervous. I need courage to do well but it would be helpful because it seems like you are a very talented actress!! I have never been in a play but I have recently become interested in acting :) I am in 9th grade and the performance is the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I would love some advice about auditioning!! Thanks! I *adore* your blog!! :)

  4. If you have to do a monologue for your audition, make sure you choose one you can relate to and that you know it better than the back of your hand. If you are doing cold reads, which is typically what they do for callbacks, then read for the part you want and one other part to show how versatile you can be. For example, if you are auditioning for Susan, read for her and then read for the White Witch as well. This shows broader talent. If you need any more advice let me know :)

  5. I auditioned today! I think it went very well! God gave me courage and confidence to do something totally outside of my comfort zone :) I am going to call backs tomorrow and I am very excited!! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! :)

  6. Charity, I got a part! I am a wood nymph which is not a very big part but I'm happy with it because this is my first play :) I really had a lot of fun trying something new and I love that you responded to my comments!! I think that you are amazing and inspiring!:)

  7. Yay! I'm so excited for you! Let me know how it goes :)

  8. Hi Charity! Opening tonight for the play is tomorrow! I am very excited and please pray for me :) You haven't posted in a while and I really miss reading you lovely posts!! I just found To The Stage! and I'm very excited about it! Just this one play has gotten me very excited about performing and now, thanks to you, I have a small obsession with Broadway :)

  9. This excites me, Morgan! Break a leg! I'm sorry I haven't posted as much. I've been sick(slash)busy(slash)lacking a muse. I'll try to put something up this weekend, though :)

    1. Thank you so much!! I get so excited when you reply to my comments!My muse lately is Mary Poppins :) I read a fabulous book called My Most Excellent Year and that has Mary Poppins in it kind of and the Broadway version of Mary Poppins is coming to Spokane and I really want to go!!

  10. If you get the chance you definitely should. I might go see Wicked on Broadway over the Summer and I'm so excited! How did the show go?

  11. That's super exciting! The show went perfectly! I am so sad it is over and I definitely want to be in another play! This experience has helped be be more fearless and less shy! I broke out of my shell and I don't care what people think about me :) I feel fearless! I even like doing improv now, I used to be too shy... Thanks for all of your help and advice!! Do you have any shows coming up?

  12. I'm doing two in the summer with a company called We Bow Together. I'm excited for those :) We're not sure which ones we're doing yet but I'll be sure to post about it when I do.


Let me know what you think! I *adore* comments! Keep 'em coming!

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