Fear is a tremendous thing.
Fear is a base emotion.
From one moment to another, fear helps us to define ourselves.
Spoiler alert, crazy sentence coming up.
We take the notion of the action from our decision born of fear and assign it to fear itself.
Or, when we do something based on fear, we assume that the action is fear, but it isn’t.
Fear is the emotion and You did something based on that emotion.
Give to Cesar that which is Cesar’s. But don’t give to the emotion that which doesn’t belong to it.
You have an emotion and you choose an action. This is where fear is just a thing.
It is Neutral.
It has no good or evil properties. And whatever action comes of it, you need to accept responsibility for it.
Fear is a fulcrum upon which actions reside. In this case, being a hero or being a coward. Many people feel fear and when they don’t act the way they want or the outcome is not as expected they call themselves a coward. I would argue that a lot of times, they weren’t.
What leads to the hero or the coward is that which tips the balance upon which fear is the base.
It might be easier to think of what makes the Hero.
The Hero is one who when feels fear, still moves forward. The soldier that plants one foot in front of another despite their feeling. That’s not to say every action of foot in front of the other is heroism. The same action can be just running away from someone shooting at you (not the same as cowardice). Likewise, as history has shown us, the hero may be one that in the face of danger, chooses NOT to move and stand as a rock against the forces that are quite likely vastly more powerful in the physical sense of being able to kill them. The mental game was won by facing them and not moving.
Different factors help tip the balance, including mob mentality. While not a real example, it still aptly shows it. In one of the spiderman films with Doc Oct, after spiderman has stopped the train and Doc Oct tries to take him, the people on the train step up, quite literally, to try and protect him. Individually, they probably would have crumbled until the first person took that step forward. Fear was there as the base and the action was tipped into Hero mode.
Now, one must not assume that the opposite, fleeing, is an act of cowardice. A gunman shooting into a crowd should cause fear and hiding and/or running away from the small penetrating objects hurtling through the air is a smart thing. The coward could be the one that knew of the impending incident and let it happen because of a threat to them. While not a popular notion or thought, I think this would also apply to the family member that choose to let another self-destruct instead of causing a confrontation by addressing the problem. Inaction can be as much an act of cowardice.
The word sounds harsh though. Cowardice. It brings up uncomfortable feelings and ideas. No one wants to be labelled as such, A Coward.
That’s not to say once a coward, always a coward. The act of saying, No More, could be the nidus for a different path.
Inherently some of the tipping is based on who we are at that mental moment. Some days we’re more mentally confident than others. Just being tired can lower mental fortitude and lead to complacency. And a constant barrage on our psyche can suppress some people and they live in the role of defense. They have to want to make the change onto another path. In fact, no one can make us change, it’s all up to us in every moment to begin with.
Unless your heart is such that you relish the pain in others, that voice inside is trying to push you into being a hero. The more you do it, the easier it gets. But you do have to face the consequences of standing up. Hopefully that gets easier with time as well.
Take a moment with yourself first and stand up to your own life if you need to. Are you being a coward in your own life hiding from problems or issues you don’t want to face or do you see your life, accept it, and put that one foot in front of the other?
In the end, only you can truly decide if you are a hero or a coward in any given moment. The external view on your action can be seen as cowardice when you know you were standing as a rock. Take heart in that as you probably won’t get support from others.
The babbling continues,