courage as opposed to outrage

   If you stare at these two words for a second, you notice the root cour and out, which stand for heart and out, in French and English respectively. My point is, courage is a deeper quality than outrage, although people often find outrage the first step in establishing courage. Today I was jogging next to my apartment around a driveway. So as I was approaching the finishing line, some car behind me was also silently approaching me. Instantly I felt threathened by some sort of predator. As I was deciding whether to yield to the driver by scooting sideway or not, it started honking at me, and that’s when I felt an irrepressible urge to let loose my recalcitrant instinct and do whatever I can to get back at the insensitive driver.  I am usually pretty good at concealing my emotion, especially under public scrutiny, but while I was jogging around, I had unwittingly acquired a sense of ownership of the piece of land I was trampling on. The moment I was honked from behind reminded me now of that moment when I was caught oversleeping in my room during a summer program. My first instinct is to run away and disobey. But today I AM running! So staying where I am was perhaps the most disobedient move. So I don’t quite exactly recall, but maybe the driver honked again and somehow I was scared and let him pass through me swiftly. But afterwards, maybe 2 seconds later, when I resumed my courage, I finally decided to flip some birds off at him, at first with one hand, and another 2 seconds later, with both. The driver might have been a pretty nice guy after all and didn’t even look back at me. And that might have been the reason I raised my second hand. I was almost ready for him to jump out of his car and start an argument at me, as I was used to in say China. And I could only expect worse here in the states since people talk with their guns. So it was only to my slight relief that the latter situation didn’t occur. I need a solid base for responsible actions.

About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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