Courage usually has an instant feeling of pain as soon as we act, yet feels more rewarding in the end. Pablo Casals says, “Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated, but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it.”
Encouragement, I say, then is to give courage to someone else. Many people think that they are being encouraging when, in fact, all they have said is “Yeah, you can do it!” Well, that is a weak prayer for motivation, and far from encouragement. What was said about doing the right thing? What was said about goodness and decency? When encouraging someone, we need to really jump into their world. Feel the fears they are feeling. Know the sacrifices that must endure. And, then, show them how doing the courageous thing is the right thing anyway.
We must also remember that encouraging someone doesn’t mean just supporting them in what they want to do. It could be quite the opposite. A person may be thinking about cheating on a test. Encouraging them is truly motivating them not to cheat, for deploying courage is also deploying ethics.
Bravery is a higher level of courage. Everyone has varying amounts of courage, whether they choose to utilize them or not. Being brave sets one apart from the others. Bravery is not only doing what is courageous, but it is going the extra mile. It involves risking more, having more faith, and willing to endure more sacrifices for the greater good of all. William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene 2, says “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.”
How do we become braver in our lives? Simply by using the vocabulary more often. Language creates our being. I notice that we tend to use this vocabulary more with children. If a child is scared of a bully at school, we tell them to be brave. However, if a friend of ours is going through a death in the family, we may tend to sympathize with them and help them cheer up. Rarely do we encourage them to be brave.
Bravery is to the spirit what motivation is to the mind. Be brave. Tell others how they can be brave and how they are being brave. Be encouraging in the true sense of the word.
I don’t know why the term “walk your talk” has a negative connotation. If someone is not walking their talk, so be it. At least they know the secret of change. That is, to change our walk, we must first change our talk.
Let's love the world together...
Danish Ahmed, blind visionary