Within Courage...

…there are 7 traits that make up its “cloak.” They are things that our society seem to neglect, and yet those same people continually desire the benefits these traits bring. Rather than just longing for the benefits, without doing the work or facing the fear that may come alongside them, I want to encourage you to take up the challenge and make these a part of your life… and to stand strong in them! What animal is better to represent courage than a lion.

 

Courage: The strength to focus your fear and knowledge in order to Stand Strong for what is right.

 

KINDNESS

KINDNESS:  The courage to give away something that you have, to meet someone else’s need,  expecting nothing in return.

Whether you are giving away your time, your love, or your right to do something first, kindness goes a long way when it comes to your character. Kindness will always come back to you, as an old proverb says, “whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy.”  Kindness is represented, in nature, by a deer. A deer is gentle and kind.  It does not take more than it needs, and it cares for its own, never seeking to invade upon another’s path.

PERSEVERANCE

PERSEVERANCE: The courage to PRESS ON toward your goal under any conditions.

Like a runner intent on reaching the finish line who pushes himself to continue running the race, perseverance is what carries you when you feel like giving up.  Keep going. Press on!  Don’t give up. You can do it. When an eagle encounters a storm, it does not turn back or give up.  It uses the energy of the storm to bolster its wings to fly above the storm to get to its indented destination.  That determination is why an eagle represents perseverance.

HONESTY

HONESTY: The courage to BE THE TRUTH in word, and in thought and in action.

Honesty never loses! I believe honesty should be more than a policy, it should be a way of life.  Honesty is always the best choice, when seeking to say, or do, the right thing. Honesty will never lead you astray.  Dolphins are the most self-less creatures in the animal kingdom.  They are known to protect swimmers and each other from danger.  It seems they just “do what’s right,” which is why they are a great representation of honesty.

RESPONSIBILITY

RESPONSIBILITYThe courage to take something the way it is, and to TAKE CARE OF IT according to its good.

In a world of distractions and procrastination, responsibility is a trait that has gotten a bad rap, because it is not the easy thing to do, but it IS the most rewarding.  Responsibly taking care of what is yours, is very valuable to important people in your life, including a spouse, a boss, and friends.  In the animal kingdom responsibility is represented by an elephant, because they are known for their responsibility, and they “never forget.”

DILIGENCE

DILIGENCE: The courage to focus on what needs to be done, and to DO YOUR BEST to complete it.

The ability to stay focused seems to be a large battle these days. With the way information and “satisfaction” seem to be at our fingertips we have been tempted away from focusing on what truly needs to be done, but doing your best will always be highly rewarded.  Of all the animals, the one who has its own cliché about doing its best, and working hard, is the horse! That is why a horse represents diligence.

LOYALTY

LOYALTY: The courage to STAND BY someone, or something, no matter what stands against you.

Everyone wants the loyalty of a friend, a spouse, or an employee; but few are willing to give it themselves.  The blessing that will come to “the few,” may not be immediate, but it is worth it.  Stay true to those in your life, not because they are, but because of your character.  The same goes for ideals and ideas… loyally pursue them.  I’m fairly certain it will not surprise you, that a dog is the animal representation of loyalty.

FAITH

FAITH: The courage to rest assured in what you hope for; to be convinced of what you cannot see.

What do you believe in?  It is not weak to believe in something that you cannot see.  The words hope and trust come from the same idea, but being convinced of something… that is where your faith will ‘take flight.”  A lamb is a symbol of faith because it does not rely simply on its own knowledge and ability, but it recognizes its dependence on someone else.  For this reason, a lamb is a good representation of faith.