“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. He that will lose his life, the same shall save it…”
– G.K. Chesterton
“It is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.”
I am the man in the sea, hanging on the precipice. I am the soldier who for the sake of living must die. I can’t sit and wait for death to come to me; I don’t believe in suicides. I must chase life with such ferocity that in doing so, I risk death.
Grant me courage.