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The Calmness of Courage

It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.

Dr. Rollo May (1909-2004)

Dr. May shares some interesting wisdom here. According to Dr. May’s work, there are positive aspects to human potential and the will of individuals is toward self-fulfillment … unless they allow fear and confusion to overide their will.

If there seems to be a spiritual component to Dr. May’s existential philosophy, perhaps it’s because he was once a Congregationalist minister.

If we run faster when we have lost our way, then it seems that calmness is an attribute of courage … the courage NOT to run when every fiber in our being is saying, “RUN, NOW!”

I’ve heard of a calmness that can come over a person when they are about to die, when death is unavoidable and imminent. James Bradley, in his book, Flyboys, talks of an aviator who was shot down during WWII, was captured by the Japanese, then sentenced to be executed.

As the officer raised his sword to cut off his head, the aviator had not doubt at all that these seconds were his last. Yet he was calm, he later shared. He was spared, of course, or we would not have known the story.

Do we “collect” calmness in times of greatest stress. Is is a spiritual gift, a preparing of the soul when the body is about to expire?

If so, can we encourage our children, in times of dire need, to be still and call on the calm instead of running faster?

James D. Sutton, Psychologist


February 23, 2008 - Posted by | adversity, Educators, family, Inspirational, Parents, Self-esteem | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Great thoughts. To learn to be calm, to trust and to accept what is, that is peace!


    Comment by tobeme | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. nice words


    Comment by farouk | November 19, 2008 | Reply

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