Definition: The ability to face danger with prudence and valor. Courage does not mean being unafraid, but instead acting unafraid. Courage also does not mean being foolhardy by taking unnecessary or foolish risks. A courageous person knows how to weigh the dangers and only takes on those risks that are necessary for the good of others.
Notes for Mentor-Student discussion
Students and mentors should discuss how to handle fear.
What is the difference between healthy and unhealthy fear?
Personal examples of courage
George Washington –While others were “running” Washington, while mounted on his horse, stormed into battle.
John Adams – successfully defended the soldiers who were accused of murdering colonists in the Boston Massacre. Despite believing that it would destroy his political career Adams chose to defend the soldiers because he believed them to be innocent.
Abraham Lincoln – Had to courage to lead the country into a war to end slavery and preserve the union. He was very unpopular but had to courage to do what he knew to be right.
Martin Luther King – Had to courage to fight for racial equality through peaceful non-violence.
Students and mentor should discuss why or why not the following are examples of courage:
A firefighter entering a burning building to save someone
A student playing with fire in the science lab to prove he is “cool”
A soldier in war or a policeman stopping a robber
A gang member robbing someone
Mentors and students should discuss some personal examples of courage
Why does courage also require prudence and fortitude?
Mentors and students should list three ways they can be courageous in their own life (school, family, sports).
Notes for general group discussion
What does it mean to be courageous?
List some ways you can practice courage
Can you name some courageous people
Courage is the willingness to do what is right, even when it is difficult or unpopular.
Take away line: Don’t follow the crowd, do what is right