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There Are Enormous Differences Between Courage and Bravery

You may think that courage and bravery are synonyms, and they are, but there are four major differences between these two virtues. In this article you will learn that both virtues are characterized as a willingness to face danger, but courage is a lot more.

Definitions And Origins of Courage and Bravery – And Are They Synonyms?

In general, bravery and courage are synonyms, however both these virtues are quite different. Basically, bravery is the willingness to face danger. Courage also requires bravery, but it is a lot more. To explain, see definitions below:

  • Bravery Definition and Origin. Bravery is the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening. The root of the word bravery is derived from the Italian word “bravo” which means “daring”. An older meaning of “bravo” was “savage, wild”.
  • Courage Definition and Origin. Courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, pain, or difficulty. The root word for courage is derived from the French word “Coeur” that means “heart”.

“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

Jim Hightower

4 Differences Between Courage and Bravery.

The Brave Selfie

Bravery is simple to define and you know it when you see it. On the other hand, courage has many of the same attributes as bravery, but it has a higher purpose. Additionally, it is not as spontaneous, and treats both danger as well as fear differently. To detail, see below:

  1. Differences In The Presence of Danger. Bravery is associated with physical danger. Courage is also associated with danger, but courage can be present in non-dangerous situations. For example, courage can be manifested in very emotional or painful situations. 
  2. Bravery Is Spontaneous, And Courage Is Not. Bravery is usually spontaneous where there is little consideration to the dangers associated with the task at hand. Whereas, courage is usually thought over before taking action.
  3. Courage Has A Higher Purpose. Bravery is focused on the here and now with little thought to what is right or wrong. Conversely, courage is a lot more complex, and it is thought out. Specifically, types of courage include physical, emotion (follow your heart), intellectual, social, moral, or spiritual.  
  4. Courage Has A Self-Awareness of Fear. Many brave acts are just plain fearless. Further, there is no thought of fear, just do it. In contrast, the act of courage includes fully acknowledging fear, and then taking action anyway.

For more information on the differences between bravery and courage see Pediaa’s Differences Between Courage and Bravery,  Jonas Muthoni’s Major Differences Between Courage and Bravery, and  Quanturn Koan’s Six Types of Courage.

For more information from Unvarnished Facts on conflict, click here.

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