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Definition Essay: Courage

Courage is the act of doing something whilst knowingly putting yourself in danger of some sort or other. The higher the chances of danger and the higher the risks, then the more courage it requires. This is especially true if there is no direct payoff for the person being courageous. Here I show a few examples featuring possible courage, featuring real courage and featuring cowardice.

Je Suis Charlie were using their right to free expression

The comical writing company “Je Suis Charlie” were not heroes or courageous, they were simply expressing their right to free expression. Expressing yourself in a free country SHOULDN’T be an act of courageousness.

In hindsight, the people at Je Suis Charlie were courageous since they were killed for writing whatever they please. But, maybe they trusted their own government to protect them against being killed by people with contradictory views.

Mark Zuckerberg is a coward

This is the guy that owns and runs Facebook. He issued a strongly worded statement against the people that killed staff members at Je Suis Charlie, and yet he is now censoring images of the prophet Muhammad. This means that Facebook is either run by cowards, or it has become a Muslim social media network because only Muslims are not allowed to show/create images depicting Muhammad.

A real example of courage

Being courageous means doing something without a direct benefit to yourself, and doing it for other people, such as doing it for an ideal. There is an Iranian political cartoonist called Mahmoud Shokraye. In 2012 he was sentenced to 25 lashes because he drew a comical cartoon. It showed the conservative Member of Parliament called Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani in a soccer shirt. He was making fun of the fact the politician keeps switching sides like a soccer player.

Mahmoud Shokraye knew that creating the cartoon may land him in jail and maybe even execution and yet he still did it because he wanted to express himself. People in other countries take free expression for granted, and yet here is a man that was whipped 25 times because he made gentle fun of a politician. It is good to see that courage exists in this way, especially when people such as Mark Zuckerberg are helping to remove the rights of free expression from people that have it already.


Courage is something a person does that poses a risk or holds some sort of danger. The more danger that is involved, then the higher the level of courage needed. This is especially true if a person receives no direct benefit from being courageous. For example, the people fighting in World War II, on all sides, were being courageous because they were doing something they thought was right for the people of their own country. There were people that fought in the war that were courageous because they were fighting to help or protect the people in their own country. There was no direct benefit to those that fought, but they still did their job for the people of their own country, which means they were courageous in their actions.

Contributors Bio

Contributor photo Lona Glenn
Los Angeles
Lona graduated from Los Angeles City College. While being a lecturer in several high school institutions Lona founded an online educational project Tutorsclass.Read more
Contributor photo Maria Castle
Davis, CA
I studied education and currently work as a tutor for school-age children. I've worked as a volunteer in many different international social projects and as a camp counselor every summer.Read more

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