What is the difference between Bravery and Courage?

Ella Walls, Grade 7

       On October 9, 2012, Malala Youzafi was shot. She was just a 15-year-old girl who wanted to learn. She got on a bus one morning to ride to school and was shot. Malala was shot in the left side of her head and endured many years of surgery and rehabilitation. After this, even though she almost died, she continued fighting for girls’ education rights all over the world. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Her courage was great. But I’m not here to tell you a story about Malala Youzafi. I’m here to tell you about bravery and courage. 

Bravery and courage are usually mushed together into one definition but they are simply not the same thing. See, bravery is more like a trait or an instinct. A brave person is a person who sees a dangerous situation and immediately reacts bravely without thinking. 

Courage, on the other hand, is seeing a situation or a dangerous or scary experience and acting, even though you’re scared. It’s being afraid and terrified and wanting to curl up in a ball like a hamster, but, you persevere through the pain and the tough times. 

Physical bravery attracts the most attention, like winning the Purple Heart Award. But courage takes many forms: moral, intellectual, emotional, political, and even financial. You need to find the courage to express ideas that may not be the majority opinion. Take ideas that you have that no one knows about and express them, even if you think that no one will support them.  Fear can be paralyzing. We’ve all felt it. Giving a presentation or answering a question or even just speaking to a person. 

Brave people often have a clear sense of purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has a purpose and a plan for us. We have to have the courage and strength to follow the path God has for us. You will notice people that follow this. They seem to shine out and are always content, confident, and happy. People like this know exactly what they are going to do and what they are being courageous for. You need to acknowledge the fact that a lot of people are brave around you. That one person that came up and complimented you, it probably took courage. Or your friend, who likes someone and is going to ask them for their number. 

These may seem like silly middle school scenarios, but, in reality, these things take actual courage. Here’s the thing. Imagine what would happen if you chose to give that compliment or be the one person that raises their hand in class. Or even be the first one to volunteer to present a presentation. For our parents, quitting the safe job and going for the daunting job that they’ve always wanted.  These things can all be scary but, if you choose to accept them, you could build a stronger, more confident world and lifestyle. 

Thank you very much.