Physical courage vs. Moral courage. Which is more important to you and why?
“We need men with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts and to standby their thoughts and convictions even to their very death” a quote by Robert Ingersoll. Is this true? But don’t we also need men and women with physical courage? Which one is more important? In order to be a good leader and make the right decisions when confronted with tough situations, it is important to know what you believe in.
It is necessary for a man to have both physical and moral courage. However, there is a big difference between the two. According to Wikipedia, Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, and death while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal or discouragement. Examples of physical courage are wrestlers, fighters, boxers, and grunts. Examples of moral courage are found in people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. People that show physical courage win awards and earn respect, admiration and attraction from people. Local policemen who save lives earn the bravery award, and Marines and military earn ribbons and Medal of Honor medals for their physical courage against the enemy. It seems to me that physical courage is visibly obvious, easy to appreciate and recognize. On the other hand, moral courage is less visible and is not as popular.
Growing up my mother always read me stories from the bible. She read stories about brave men with strength and power. About men who saw wrong, but never had moral courage to stand up for what is right. For example, the story of “David and Goliath.” During a war against Israel, there was a giant strong man wearing full armor ready to fight. Everyone in the village was afraid of this man, except for David. Even though the giant was physically bigger than David and could kill him in an instant, David had no fear. Marines in combat are exposed to death, pain, and danger everyday. We hear stories of men who killed the enemy even when they were feeling pain and exhaustion…or men who jump on grenades knowing they may not make it, but end up saving dozens of lives.
On September 24, two SSgt Marines faced criminal charges over their roles in urinating on dead bodies of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Was this right or wrong? Did this people deserve to be humiliated this way? This is a sensitive subject, and everyone has their own opinions and reasons, like those Marines probably have that we don’t know about. But isn’t the Marine Corps supposed to be the highest most respected branch in the military? We are known for honor, courage, and commitment. On the Afghanistan video, it shows 4 men urinating and one videotaping. Out of those Marines, not one of them had the moral courage to stand up or to stop them. They were all doing it, and it was the popular thing to do at the