Friday, November 7, 2014

Courage: Music & Manliness

It's Friday, so thank God for that. My apologies for not posting a demo recording of "Just Wait" (the song I wrote last week). I've been dealing with infected tonsils, which has limited whatever ability I have to sing. Anyway, that's coming soon, along with whatever song I write inspired by courage.

This week's manly virtue is courage. Courage is also one of the four cardinal virtues of classical antiquity, and one of my favorite virtues of a real man. Courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery (

Somewhat opposing the above definition, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) said, "courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." I tend to agree more with Twain's assessment of courage than that of Human beings are all afraid of something at some point. So yes, real men have fear. The difference between a real man and a boy (in this case "boy" refers to a grown-man-coward) is how they react to that fear, whether it be courageously or not. Courage is facing your fears. It's saying what someone needs to hear, rather than what they want to hear. It's having the guts to practice whatever good you preach. Courage is mandatory in order to be a real man.

Five ways a real man can employ courage in everyday life:

1. Have the courage to be a faithful. To be faithful is to be loyal. Whether it is being a faithful friend or being a faithful husband, father, son, or brother, it takes courage to repeatedly have someone's back through thick and thin. It takes courage to deny the temptations that disgrace faithfulness and loyalty. Be faithful to those that truly sharpen and care for you.

2. Have the courage to call someone out when mistreating another. A real man does not stand by and simply watch when someone is being mistreated physically or verbally. He stands up for those unable or unwilling to stand up for themselves even if he may compromise his own social status. He does not do it for praise but instead does it because he sees the value in protecting the goods of human life.

3. Have the courage to be vulnerable. Believe or it or not, a real man allows himself to be vulnerable. This doesn't mean constantly discussing how he "feels" about every single little thing, or taking those around him on some sort of emotional roller coaster. A real man is vulnerable by admitting his weakness, failures, and mistakes. He is not hesitant to accept the advice of those wiser than him and share his struggles with those who sharpen him. He knows that he's not defined by his mistakes, but instead what he does to make them right.

4. Have the courage to guard your senses. A real man is careful in his watching, listening, and speaking. He understands that in order to be a good man he must have the courage to disagree with and avoid watching things in order to keep his judgement sound and mind healthy. A real man has the courage to listen to those he agrees with, and those he disagrees with. A real man need not be perfect in speech to understand that the words he uses truly effect those around him. He aims to be a good role model, and conveys so, first through his actions and then through his words.

5. Have the courage to be dependable. A real man highly prioritizes dependability. It takes bravery to put himself in a position where he is depended upon. He takes seriously the roles and responsibilities that he accepts and can always be counted on, even under pressure. It takes courage to initially step up, and it takes a certain kind of courage to follow through.

C.S. Lewis said, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point." Virtues in themselves will not hold without the bravery to uphold them when facing adversity.

The courage of a real man is not something he is born with, but instead it is something he develops.
Art of Manliness ( has some great posts on manly courage, one of my favorites is listed below. I recommend you go check it out for more insight on manly courage:
This article discusses the different types of courage that exist (physical, intellectual, and moral) and how to develop each of them.

I hope this can get men thinking about what it means to be a man with courage so that when the time comes to do something courageous, you will be prepared.

It's taking me a little longer to develop the right song for this one.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing Jake. It's important to remember that courage is IN SPITE OF fear, not IN PLACE OF fear. I've got a blog on service behind the scenes. Check it out at