Finding Courage in History: An Introduction

By Lenora Bendall

“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”

-John Wayne

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Edmund Hillary…If you were asked to name a historical figure who was the epitome of courage, these are some of the
names you would think of. Finding courage in history isn’t hard. History is filled with inspirational stories of extraordinary people overcoming extraordinary circumstances. People who were leaders or groundbreakers or glass ceiling breakers. We hear about them all the time.

In my time studying history I have discovered that the most inspiring stories and courageous figures in history come from those we don’t always hear about. Yes, it takes great courage to lead a movement or fight against oppressors, but it takes a different kind of courage to live through the Blitzkrieg or take your fishing boat into a warzone. It takes a different kind of courage to overcome a disability to become a leader. It is a special kind of courage to face your personal demons to bring joy and inspiration into the world.

This series will tell you the stories of the everyday people who were, as John Wayne once famously said, “scared to death but saddled up anyway.” Being brave or having courage isn’t about facing down your enemies or personal demons without fear but doing it in spite of the fear. History is filled with people doing amazing things despite the pressures and fears, and we hear about so many amazing people, but we are here to pull inspiration from the everyday and that is something that history can teach us as well.

Published by Carolyn Bendall

A fashion and image expert, presenting seminars, classes, and individual consultations. Monthly makeover column in the Commercial Appeal, hosts a radio show on fashion, beauty, image, and entertainment, writes a blog reviewing products with complete honesty, and trains image consultants from around the world.

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