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If Strength is the first virtue, then Courage is the second. The reason for this is rather simple. If you have all the Power in the world, it means nothing if you lack the Will to use it. Strength, without Courage, is a sword that never leaves the shelf it was placed upon.

But what does it mean, to have courage? What is courage for that matter? Courage is not the Will, but it comes from the will and allows one to use one’s will to be sure. Strength is easy to classify, but courage is harder. Getting up and speaking in front of a group of people is certainly courage, so is killing the spider in your bathtub (often an epic quest worthy of Frodo himself, although his spider was a bit bigger than average).

Gonna need a bigger newspaper!

Sometimes though, it’s a bit harder to be courageous. If what you’re doing is “socially unacceptable” you will face much greater challenges to your courage. Standing up for what you believe in the face of giant forces that would see you forced to knuckle under to their ways takes great courage. Some are lucky enough to have it.

I don’t know that I’m one of them though, I’m probably just insane. 😉

Then again, a lot of courage is insane to those who do not have courage. Probably one of the most courageous men I have ever heard of was Teddy Roosevelt.

He laughs, because even Death fears him.

The list of his mighty deeds would be worthy of three posts in and of themselves. One tiny example is the time he was out hunting, and his dogs cornered a cougar or mountain lion (I can’t remember which). Roosevelt, who shared his kills with no one, promptly got off horse, kicked the dogs away, and killed the great cat with a knife. By hand. And that story barely makes a blip on the screen of what he did. The best part about Roosevelt? He started out as underweight asthmatic book worm. Of course, you know you’re a courageous badass when you cross of the River Of Doubt, after which it is renamed The River Of Unquestionable Certainty.

If you know anything of South American Amazonian rivers, you will understand how bad ass that is. And that feeling in your gut? It’s him, hitting you for not even trying to be a fraction of how bad ass he was. I’m feeling it right now.

Standing tall, standing up, taking action, these are the ways of courage. It is easy to join the masses, it is harder to stand against them. To stand above, you must will, to will you must have heart, and that is what Courage is. It is Heart. And when people ask what kind of lame power is Heart, remember Teddy. Remember a little asthmatic who went on to be the biggest bad ass in history. Remember your Pagan and Heathen ancestors who fought for centuries against the invading Christians, and then remember your Christian ancestors who fought for centuries more against the invading Muslims. Remember the samurai and the soldier, remember those from every land who stood and fought in the battlefields of blood, of law, and of spirit. Feel that power within yourself, and stand up.

Stand up and fight for what you believe, with Courage!