Ooo we are getting a new Ryan Holiday book on courage and I am so excited (in a very stoic way of course). A quick teaser and a note on why I’m looking forward to it:
In “Courage is Calling,” I write about two marines working a guardpost in Ramadi in 2008 when a truck bomber raced toward the small base they protected. Corporals Jonathan Yale and Jordan Haerter stepped forward in unison and began to fire. Two thousand pounds of explosives went off as they unloaded their weapons into the accelerating truck. Just six seconds elapsed between the truck’s appearance and its horrible destruction. It was enough time for the local police to get away, but not the two Marines. But “because these two young men didn’t know how to run from danger,” General John Kelly would say in a speech a few years later, “150 men were saved.”
Holiday is a master of inversion. So is General Kelly. It’s not just about what we are trained to do, it’s about what we are trained not to do.
Courage happens when we make a hard choice. Courage happens when we don’t run away. Courage happens when we do the work we’re proud to do.
The wartime story makes it clearer in our minds, but the reality is we have chances to act courageously all of the time.
Not just by what we do, but also by what we don’t do. It’s a choice. Courage is calling.