What Does It Mean to Be Courageous

May 9, 2017

Former President Receives Courage Award

What is courage? Well, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz went looking for it, but what he didn’t realize was that he had it all along. Courage is not something that you need to look for, but something that’s in you. It’s when you stand up for a friend. It’s when someone chooses to do something right, even if that something isn’t easy. Courage comes in all forms.

In 1989, the late President John F. Kennedy’s family created the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award to honor him and to celebrate the courage of other political leaders.

President Barack Obama By Marc Nozell via @Flickr CC BY 2.0

This year, former President Barack Obama was honored with this award for serving as the President of the United States for the last eight years. In his acceptance speech, he emphasized the need for people to do the right thing, not the easy thing, and for the members of Congress to remember that,

“ … it actually doesn’t take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential. But it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm, those who often have no access to the corridors of power.”

He continued to say, “I hope they understand that courage means not simply doing what is politically expedient but doing what they believe deep in their hearts is right.”

Thank you, former President Barack Obama for your courage in leading the country.

Past award recipients include:

2014: George H.W. Bush

2013: Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords

2002: Public Servants of September 11