Courage , also daring or courage , means that one has the courage and is able to dare to do something , that is to say, for example, to put oneself into a dangerous situation associated with uncertainties.
This can be an activating challenge such as jumping from a five-meter tower into the water or the willingness to take a difficult professional test (individual background). However, it can also consist in the refusal of an unreasonable or shameful act such as a refusal to use drugs or damage to property under peer pressure (social background of a test of courage ).
The word "courage" comes from Indo-European mo- = to strive, to be strong will, to strive hard for something> Germanic moda-, mōþa-, mōþaz, mōda-, mōdaz = meaning, courage, anger> Old High German muot = meaning, soul, Spirit, mind, power of thinking, feeling, will.
In the High Middle Ages (12-13. Century), the courage in epic poetry and minstrelsy as high muot in the importance of generosity and magnanimity of virtue that identifies the "noble knight", as it about Hartmann von Aue in his epics Erec (c. 1190–1192) and Iwein (c. 1200) or Wolfram von Eschenbach in his Parzival (1200–1210) represented the ideal of chivalry. According to the literary scholar Benno von Wiese , the minne poets also glorify the hôhen muot as an ethical basis and typical characteristic of the “noble knight without fear and blame”, who dedicates his life unselfishly to the fight against injustice of all kinds and to the protection of those in need.
The slippage of chivalry into robber baronism is also reflected in the change in language and a change in the meaning of the terms: if the high medieval ethics and the hôhe muot were determined by the mâze (moderation), vanity, excess of measure, took hold in the 14th century and possessiveness around them. The high muot became the pride , Hochgemuotheit noted the importance arrogance on. Proverbs such as "arrogance and pride grow on one piece of wood" were created in modern times.
The further development of the language created an extensive field of words in New High German that could either focus more on the mood of a person and reflect it in a differentiated manner ( generosity , gentleness , long-suffering, arrogance, melancholy, etc.) or addressed his willpower ( daring , sincerity , fickleness , arrogance , Courage to fight etc.). In appropriate word compositions, the terms could take on a positive or negative meaning depending on the medieval mâze . The derived term mind (cf. Thymos ) also made it possible to describe a certain (social or partnership) atmosphere ( cozy , cozy ) or to reflect a personality radiance ( grace ).
Today's basic concept of courage is seen as a neutral formal virtue of the middle, which is located between the distorted forms of arrogance and discouragement and takes an actively shaping or actively refusing direction of action and can come into play in the military as well as in the civilian area ( civil courage ).
Courage as an act and a refusal to act
Courage is a character trait that enables you to stand up for a cause that is recognized as right and necessary against resistance and dangers. Two opposing goals can be pursued: Courage requires the determination to do or refuse something unpleasant or dangerous after careful consideration. Both can be associated with disadvantages for yourself and require sacrifice. In the case of the decision to take active action , the brave fights for the enforcement of a law, for mastering a dangerous situation or for the realization of a value against resistance and threats. In the case of a refusal to act , the courage to act is recognized as injustice (e.g. requesting the theft of a department store), worthless (e.g. destructive test of courage) or unreasonable health (e.g. peer pressure to smoke or use drugs) resist. Both expressions of courage have the same rank. Both require a sense of value, independent thinking, strength of character and assertiveness.
Courage and fear
Courage and fear are sometimes seen in a contradicting relationship. The brave one seems to be fearless or at least less burdened by feelings of fear. This notion does not correspond to psychological reality: fear and fear are not a state of mind incompatible with courage, but on the contrary are components in the tension structure of responsible daring . They contrast with each other, but are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other:
According to Warwitz, courage has the function of the driving factor, fear the function of the braking factor. In the risky situation, as in a sensible car journey, both must find a balanced interaction. To ensure the ability to act, courage can also consist in overcoming unfounded or excessive fears. On the other hand, fear has the task of warning against an irresponsible action. The brave proves the ability to act between the extremes “ recklessness ” and “ fear paralysis ”.
Courage and bravery
While "courage" (lat .: audacia) is determined by the character trait willingness to take risks, the cardinal virtue " bravery " (lat .: fortitudo) according to Josef Pieper is characterized by perseverance, as steadfastness in difficult situations. According to Warwitz, courage represents a “power of initiative”, bravery a “power to tolerate”. Both do not establish themselves in a (wishful) idea of themselves or others, but have to prove themselves in a real situation in concrete action against resistance or danger: courage The extreme athlete , cross-border commuter , fighter , soldier proves (= daring) when he is ready to enter a dangerous situation. He proves bravery when he is ready to get through the situation despite failures, injuries and defeats with a willingness to suffer and a will to win to the hoped-for success. Courage and bravery (Greek: ἀνδρεία andreia, Latin: virtus) are not to be understood as synonyms in Plato and Aristotle, but as a pair of terms that can be distinguished from one another, as is still used today in the more differentiated German language.
Courage as emancipation
In his epistles , the Roman poet Horace uses the phrase sapere aude (literally translated: “Dare to be wise!”).
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant took it up in 1784 and translated it into the phrase “Have the courage to use your own understanding!” In order to explain the guiding principle of the Enlightenment in a generally understandable way : “Enlightenment is the exit of man from his self-inflicted immaturity ". Kant sees the reasons for this self-inflicted immaturity in "cowardice and laziness" as well as in a "lack of determination and courage to free oneself from the tutelage of others". According to Kant, it is also more convenient for many people to let others think and act for themselves and thus also to evade the responsibility for a possible failure.
Courage as moral courage
In contrast to military courage in war situations, so-called moral courage characterizes a person who is willing to stand up for the enforcement of justice and social norms in their everyday bourgeois environment, even if this could be uncomfortable or even problematic for their own integrity.
It is a socio-ethical behavior based on value convictions that is most impressively visible when the integrity of another person, human dignity or human rights are threatened and appropriate interference by a courageous fellow human being is necessary.
Courage as a learning goal
The quality of courage and its implementation in courageous behavior are individually designed differently and cannot be used equally for all areas of life and situations. But both can be learned and are required as a characteristic of a mature personality as well as for a self-determined life. Dynamic children and young people in particular tend to test their potential in this regard in tests of courage .
According to the findings of developmental psychology, meaningful tests of courage are not childish gimmicks and useless dangers. Rather, they contribute significantly to the formation of personality, to the stringent pursuit of personal goals in life, even against resistance, and to a self-confident appearance in threatened and conflict situations in public and at work.
Today's meaning and environment
Showing courage in a situation does not necessarily have to refer to something actually dangerous . Anyone who is afraid of situations that are objectively not dangerous (e.g. due to a phobia ) behaves courageously insofar as they face them despite their phobia. Before a dangerous situation not to be afraid, is also sometimes referred to as courage, although this is also a sign of experience (security, to cope with the situation) or of naivety (the hazard potential is not recognized) can be.
Similar to "courage" to rewrite the words boldness , bravado (especially for soldierly courage) and civil courage and colloquially Traute ( berlin ) and cutting ( Bavarian-Austrian ). In contrast to courage, bravery emphasizes the strength of character to persevere under adverse circumstances.
Different (distorted) forms of courage have negative connotations ( arrogance , arrogance , recklessness ). This is especially true when courage serves an unworthy cause or expresses itself in destructive behavior.
Opposite terms to courage are timidity or - morally even more pejorative - cowardice , inner weaker self ( vulgo ). But if courage is condemned ( audacity , recklessness , willfulness ), its opposite is often praised as prudence . ( No opposite term is displeasure , which means “ discontentment ”.) If courage originally served to achieve a goal (such as survival or a higher reputation ), in a relatively threat-free society, taking a risk and merely showing off courage is often an act the identity , the determination of the common man or the increase of sex appeal .
In the opinion of the Swiss specialist psychologist for psychotherapy Andreas Dick, courage consists of the following components:
- accept a danger, risk, or nausea, or sacrifice a security or convenience that could result in death, physical injury, social ostracism, or emotional deprivation;
- a knowledge of what is right and what is wrong at a given moment, made with wisdom and prudence;
- Hope and confidence in a happy, meaningful outcome;
- a free will;
- a motive based on love.
The basic forms of courage can be distinguished:
- physical courage, the danger of which is possible harm to life and limb;
- moral or social courage, the danger of which is possible social exclusion;
- psychological or existential courage, the danger of which is a possible destabilization of the personality.
Under encouragement is courage make to understand by others (through persuasion, gestures , facial expressions ), but also get courage by own behavior when one recognizes the success after one has dared something. The latter would be a self-affirmation (self-reinforcement; see learning ).
There are many forms of encouragement. The most common gesture is the so-called pat on the back . For athletes, shouts or applause are opportunities to release the energies in order to survive the competition. For desperate people who have lost the courage to shoulder an accident, encouragement in the form of addressing or addressing is appropriate, but not a panacea. Here is Telefonseelsorge classify.
In pedagogy , encouragement is an important measure to encourage children to have certain experiences so that further learning processes are set in motion and to strengthen the motivation to learn (see R. & A. Tausch: Erziehungspsychologie ). Encouragement is a basic, whole personality measure.
Historical and current examples
One of the most famous speeches of encouragement given to soldiers before battle comes from the pen of William Shakespeare in his play Henry V , known as the St. Crispins Day Speech before the Battle of Azincourt (October 25, 1415). But other speeches of encouragement before a fight are also legendary, such as B. Napoleon's address before the Battle of the Pyramids in 1798.
The prompt sapere aude is answered in response to the question: What is enlightenment? von Kant on the motto of the epoch: "Have the courage to use your own understanding!" Enlightenment in the sense of Immanuel Kant is encouragement to think independently by overcoming laziness and cowardice .
Also known is the song encouragement of Wolf Biermann , which was first published in 1974 and in which he, after being in the GDR was not allowed to enter after his expulsion, wrote verses that would make his friends there courage. The verses were also used in part by the West German anti-nuclear movement to strengthen the morale of its followers.
Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wander has collected almost two hundred German proverbs under the keyword Muth (and other words combined with it) in his five-volume work Deutsches Sprich emphasis-Lexikon ( Wanders Deutsches Sprich emphasis-Lexikon ) .
- German Alpine Association (DAV) (Ed.): Risk - Dangers or Opportunities? Proceedings of the Evangelical Academy Bad Boll, Munich 2004.
- Ulrich Kühne (Ed.): Courageous people. Women and men with moral courage . Elisabeth Sandmann Verlag, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-938045-13-2 .
- Gerd Meyer: Courage and courage. Basics and social practice. Barbara Budrich Publishing House. Opladen Berlin-Toronto 2014, ISBN 978-3-8474-0172-8 ; 978-3-8474-0423-1 (eBook)
- Maria Limbourg: Tests of courage in childhood and adolescence . In: Ding-Wort-Zahl 107 (2010), pp. 35–42.
- Gerd Meyer: Living democracy. Civil courage and courage in everyday life. Research results and practical perspectives . 2nd edition, Nomos, Baden-Baden 2007, ISBN 3-8329-0444-1 .
- Gerd Meyer, Ulrich Dovermann, Siegfried Frech, Günther Gugel (eds.): Learning civil courage. Analyzes - Models - Working Aids. 2nd edition, Federal Center for Civic Education / State Center for Civic Education Baden-Württemberg, 2007, ISBN 3-89331-537-3 .
- Reinhard Tausch , Anne-Marie Tausch: Educational Psychology, Verlag Hogrefe, Göttingen, Toronto, Zurich (several editions)
- Siegbert A. Warwitz: Search for meaning in risk. Life in growing rings . 2., ext. Ed., Verlag Schneider, Baltmannsweiler 2016, ISBN 978-3-8340-1620-1 .
- Siegbert A. Warwitz: Do children need risks and dares? In: Grundschule 11 (2002), pp. 54–55. ISSN 0533-3431
- Siegbert A. Warwitz: Growing in Risk. From the contribution to your own development. In: Ding-Wort-Zahl 93 (2008), pp. 25–37. ISSN 0949-6785
- Siegbert A. Warwitz: From the sense of the car. Why people face dangerous challenges . In: DAV (Ed.): Berg 2006 , Munich-Innsbruck-Bozen 2005, ISBN 3-937530-10-X , pp. 96–111.
- Siegbert A. Warwitz: Be brave , basic article. In: Case-Word-Number 107 (2010), pp. 4–10.
- Test of courage
- Risk education
- Risk (pedagogy)
- Moral courage
- The council of rats
- Gunhild Simon: Courage and Mind . ( Memento of March 27, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) In: Magazin Deutsch, Etymologie , September 3, 2007
- 1784: Answer to the question: What is Enlightenment - freely accessible at DigBib.Org , Wikisource
- ^ Gerhard Truig: German dictionary. Gütersloh 1970, column 2500.
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: From the sense of the car. Why people face dangerous challenges. In: DAV (Ed.) Berg 2006. Munich-Innsbruck-Bozen 2005, pp. 96–111.
- ^ Gerhard Truig: German dictionary. Gütersloh 1970, column 2500.
- ↑ Benno von Wiese (ed.): Poet of Minnesang. In: Ders .: Die Deutsche Lyrik. Düsseldorf 1956, p. 27
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: Search for meaning in risk. Life in growing rings. 2nd edition, Schneider, Baltmannsweiler 2016, pp. 40–48.
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: From the sense of the car. Why people face dangerous challenges . In: DAV (Ed.): Berg 2006 . Munich-Innsbruck-Bozen 2005, pp. 96–111.
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: The virtues of contrast fear and courage . In: Ders .: Search for meaning in risk. Life in growing rings . 2nd edition, Baltmannsweiler 2016, p. 27.
- ↑ German Alpine Association (DAV) (Ed.): Risk - Dangers or Opportunities? Proceedings of the Evangelical Academy Bad Boll, Munich 2004.
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: Be brave . Basic item. In: Case-Word-Number 107 (2010), pp. 4–10.
- ↑ Josef Pieper: From the sense of bravery . Hegner, Leipzig 1934, 6th edition 1954.
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: Resistance gives way to will . In: Ders .: Search for meaning in risk. Life in growing rings. 2nd ed., Baltmannsweiler 2016, pp. 42–44.
- ↑ Horace : Epistulae. 1,2.40.
- ↑ Immanuel Kant : Answering the question: What is Enlightenment?
- ↑ Ulrich Kühne (Ed.): Courageous people. Women and men with moral courage . Elisabeth Sandmann Verlag, Munich 2006.
- ↑ Gerd Meyer: Lebendige Demokratie. Civil courage and courage in everyday life. Research results and practical perspectives . 2nd Edition. Baden-Baden 2007.
- ^ Maria Limbourg: Tests of courage in childhood and adolescence . In: Ding-Wort-Zahl 107 (2010), pp. 35–42.
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: Do children need risks and dares? In: Grundschule 11 (2002), pp. 54–55.
- ^ Siegbert A. Warwitz: Growing in the risk. From the contribution to your own development. In: Ding-Wort-Zahl 93 (2008), pp. 25–37.
- ↑ Gerd Meyer, Ulrich Dovermann, Siegfried Frech, Günther Gugel (eds.): Learn civil courage. Analyzes - Models - Working Aids. 2nd Edition. Federal Agency for Civic Education / State Center for Civic Education Baden-Württemberg, 2007.
- ↑ Andreas Dick: Courage - to grow beyond yourself. Hans Huber Verlag, Bern 2010, ISBN 978-3-456-84835-8 .