Having spent nearly 15 years in the US Army, the first thought to come to my mind about courage would be those of great battlefield stories of heroism; soldiers placing their lives in harms way for the protection of others, or the disregard of personal safety while leading a charge against the enemy.
My thoughts then go to the police officers and firemen who risk their lives everyday ensuring our safety, rushing into perilous situations to save us, as did the police and firefighters at the word trade center.
Although these examples certainly exemplify heroic courage; there are many different types of courage that people display everyday. Courage is not only reserved for heroes.
There is a saying that describes courage as "nothing more than taking one step more than you think you can.".
Neither the saying nor the sentiment are particularly original and I have no idea who said the words first, or who might have said them. I do know the words are true. Courage has nothing to do with feeling or not feeling fear, with doing great deeds (though sometimes courage accomplishes great deeds), or with conquering life-and-death situations (though in such situations it is certainly helpful.).
Courage is a form of tenaciousness, a refusal to quit when you want to quit because you're tired or humiliated or broken, and it is as necessary in everyday life as it is in moments of great upheaval. In fact, I could easily say that everyday courage is more important than the 'great deeds' sort, because every one of us will be in everyday situations, while not all of us will be called upon in our lifetimes to perform great deeds. .
Everyday courage can be nothing more than:.
• Standing by your beliefs and convictions when everyone around you believes in something different.
• Refusing to submit to peer pressure at work or school. .
• Seeing a task through to the end when it's easier to quit than continue.