Everything in life requires courage. Whether it is playing football, or coaching football; crossing the room to ask a woman out on a date, or rekindling a love that has grown cold; whether it's your first day at college, or your first day back at college after twenty years; starting a new business, battling a potentially fatal disease, getting married, struggling to overcome an addiction, or coming humbly before your God in prayer: life takes courage. Courage is essential to the human experience. Courage animates us, brings us to life, and makes everything else possible. And yet, courage is the rarest quality in the human person. The most dominant emotion today in our modern society is fear. We are afraid. Afraid of losing the things we have worked hard to buy, afraid of rejection and failure, afraid of certain parts of town, afraid of certain types of people, afraid of criticism, afraid of suffering and heartache, afraid of change, afraid to tell people how we really feel... We are afraid of so many things. We are even afraid to be ourselves. Some of these fears we are consciously aware of, while others exist sub-consciously. But these fears can play a very large role in directing the actions and activities of our lives. Fear has a tendency to imprison us. Fear stops more people from doing something with their lives than lack of ability, contacts, resources, or any other single variable. Fear paralyses the human spirit. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the acquired ability to move beyond fear. Each day we must pass through the jungles of doubt and cross the valley of fear. For it is only then that we can live in the high-places - on the peaks of courage. Matthew Kelly
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