I’m no linguist, but I know that the root of the word ‘courage’ is ‘coeur’ which is French for ‘heart’. Apparently Latin plays a role here too – ‘cor’, also meaning heart.
So the heart lies, um, at the heart (sorry) of courage. We traditionally place the heart at the centre of emotions. So courage is linked to emotions. Why? Because courage is acting despite fear: it has nothing to do with being fearless.
There is a line in the song “Wear Sunscreen” (Baz Luhrmann) that says “Do something every day that scares you”. I’d like to think that if courage is linked to the heart, and the heart is a muscle, then with regular exercise, we can strengthen our ‘courage muscles’. We can make them flexible, adaptable, and strong.
I had four meetings today. I was challenged in two of them to flex my courage. One is a small flex – basically just a limbering stretch to the right. The other is a do-a-backflip-standing-on-one-foot-while-sipping-champagne-without-spilling-a-drop kind of flex.
Here’s to quaking in my boots while preserving champagne.