Guest Column: Courage

Courage by Gretchyn A. Carter, Greenacres Middle School

The definition of courage is bravery or the ability to do something that frightens one. To me, however, courage is so much more. To have courage is not always easy. It means pushing past things that can scare you, harm you, and overall terrify you. To have courage is to stand up and decide you don’t want your fear, whatever it might be, to control you. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once said, “Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.” I agree with him as we dive headfirst and take a risk without knowing the outcome, holding onto courage tightly. I am inspired by people like Thomas Edison who were not afraid to fail. We have his many inventions that have made our society better because he had the courage to try over and over until he met with success.

Nancy D. Solomon exclaimed, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” I interpret this to mean that without being brave and bold, our fears will keep us from accomplishing our goals. For example, all throughout history we’ve seen courageous people pushing past frightening circumstances to achieve their dreams. Take Harriet Tubman for instance. She led hundreds of slaves to freedom. I’m sure she was afraid at times, but she grasped courage and marched on to a better life not only for herself, but for others also.

In his book, Grenade, Alan Gratz says, “Being brave doesn’t mean not being scared. It means overcoming your fear to do what you have to do.” I find these words very true as it explains that to have courage doesn’t mean not being afraid. It means choosing to face fear. A great example is during World War II. Think of all the terrified people who chose to fight their fears rather than let the terror of war control them. Maybe it was joining a resistance or army, trying to survive concentration camps, passing out forbidden information, putting their lives at risk to help people who were in danger, or maybe something as simple as hoping for a better future.

Especially today with the COVID-19 virus going around, we need to be brave. It can be scary to have life as we have known it come to a halt. We need to stand bravely amid the fear of losing loved ones, being isolated for an undefined period, and the uncertainty regarding the future. As we move forward, let us remember the wisdom of Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Gretchyn is a 6th grade student at Greenacres Middle School. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family. In her free time, she mostly likes to be outside, and she likes cross country, painting and writing.