People are always saying I’m courageous because I’ve survived a lot of illness. I tell them surviving is not courage. It’s instinct. That is the kind of “courage” you can find in any living thing — including an earthworm or a slug.
Every living thing does its best to stay alive. To survive and continue to exist. Sometimes that’s hard, but it isn’t courageous. It may show tenacity, grit, intelligence, and luck, but courage is something else.
Courage is when — at your own personal peril — you run into the fire from which everyone else is fleeing to try to save those who are trapped.
Courage is going back to the fight because your patrol is trapped and they need your help.
Courage is going against your natural instinct to flee the danger and get to safety to save the lives of others — human or animal.
Courage is counter-instinctive. It isn’t “natural” and I am pretty sure you will never find an earthworm with genuine valor.
I’m not brave. I’m gritty, determined, persistent, and sometimes, clever. I also have been lucky. Luck is the single thing common for survivors and the truly courageous. You wish for it, but you can’t count on it.
The lucky get to hear their praises sung — hopefully. The unlucky may get a really nice funeral and a posthumous medal.