Saturday, May 09, 2020

The contradiction of courage


Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” - Jesus (Matthew 16:25)
“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms, it means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. . . . This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. . . . A soldier surrounded 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.

G.K. Chesterton
(Orthodoxy, p89)

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