Courage is the Root to Success | Teen Ink

Courage is the Root to Success

December 29, 2007
By Anonymous

Stepping off the kindergarten bus, I laid my eyes on the neighbor’s enormous, yellow Labrador, staring me into a tremble. The beast had its tongue hanging out , panting furiously. Feeling my palms begin to quiver and sweat, I slowly closed them into tight, nervous fists. However before I could fully process the situation, the dog took one step forward, driving me over the edge. Dropping everything I had been holding, I spun around, and took off as fast as my 5 year-old legs could carry me. Running away is every human’s automatic response when facing danger and fear. Courage is required to overcome that urge to flee from a conflict. Such courage is a priceless virtue that people learn through life experiences, and self-development. “He who lacks courage thinks with his legs.” – Coach John Wooden. Someone who does not have gallantry, and is afraid to face a challenge, does nothing to overcome a conflict.

The mammoth dog caught up with me in just a matter of seconds. When it was right behind me, the ferocious dog bit me, right on the back of my thigh, and I felt the pain surge. Till this day, I still have the scar. From this experience I learned that trying to avoid a challenge only makes matters worse, for the problem will not disappear.

Challenges are a part of our everyday life. Just one year ago, I was signed up to participate in a flute recital. That recital would be my debut in playing music in front of a large crowd. As normal, I was almost unbearably nervous. Every time the announcer would congratulate, and thank a musician for performing, my back would stiffen, and my stomach would churn, for it meant there was one less person to play before it would be my turn. At one point, my mind lingered on the thought of retreating, and deciding not to perform after all. However, that thought would be quickly terminated due to the experience with the dog. In that incident, I did not face the challenge, and was punished with a painful bite on the thigh. Not wanting to give up on a challenge again, I stepped up to the stage, and played my best. I am no longer that five year old girl running frantically away from a large dog.

Courage, and valor are needed in everyday life to overcome conflict and fear. My past experiences taught me that no matter how large or small a challenge was, one should never try to subside it. Instead, a person should view a problem as an opportunity to gain experience and to learn a lesson about bravery. “Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.” – Dr. Robert Anthony.

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