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“Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life, with all its sorrow is good; that everything is maeningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.” Dorothy Thompson
Dorothy — that’s my beloved mom’s name – love writing it here! — knew a thing or two about courage. An accomplished journalist and lecturer, she recognized the threat to the world that Nazism posed very early on and spoke out against it boldly and bravely. My mom, Dorothy, was courageous, too – she left the Midwest as a teenager to come East knowing no one and forged a new life for herself with grit and moxie.
And what about us? As writers, we need courage, too. “Heart…also the quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and dangers with firmness and without fear” – that’s how my handy Century Dictionary defines this precious quality. It takes courage to find the strength to share what we know and to go into the dark places of life and bring back light. It takes courage to handle the rejection and obstacles we may face in getting our work out into the world. And it takes courage to go back in and revise our work when we know we can make it better, stronger, truer.
And so, to light our way, here are a few more comments on courage:
“They conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson of life who does not every day surmount fear.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop and look fear in the face.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” Tacitus
“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” Mary Tyler Moore
“Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.” Ruth Gordon
“Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not not courageous.” Thornton Wilder
May some of these words strike a chord with you as we all write on!