Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Bravery

"The man who knows when not to act is wise. To my mind, bravery is forethought." - Euripedes NULL

"The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves have been flown for religious ideals." - William James

"The bravery founded on hope of recompense, fear of punishment, experience of success, on rage, or on ignorance of danger, is but common bravery, and does not deserve the name. True bravery proposes a just end; measures the dangers, and meets the result with calmness and unyielding decision." - François de La Noüe

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on. Discipline, pride, self-respect, self-confidence, and the love of glory are attributes which will make a man courageous even when he is afraid." -

"Bravery's a treasure in a lonesome place." - J. M. Synge, fully John Millington Synge

"At the bottom of a good deal of bravery that appears in the world there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity." -

"War is an unmitigated evil. But it certainly does one good thing. It drives away fear and brings bravery to the surface." -

"Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle and we knew that victory for mankind depended upon our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world." - Joseph Parker

"Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death." - Omar Bradley, fully Omar Nelson Bradley

"Common experience shows how much rarer is moral courage than physical bravery. A thousand men will march to the mouth of the cannon where one man will dare espouse an unpopular cause." -

"Retreat is often a plan of resistance and may be a precursor of great bravery and sacrifice. Every retreat is not cowardice which implies fear to die." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"Common experience shows how much rarer is moral courage than physical bravery. A thousand men will march to the mouth of a cannon where one man will dare espouse an unpopular cause." -

"The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity." -

"War is an unmitigated evil. But it certainly does one thing: It drives away fear and brings bravery to the surface." -

"Bravery is knowledge of the cowardice in the enemy." -

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality when one knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on. Discipline, pride, self-respect, self-confidence, and the love of glory are attributes which will make a man courageous even when he is afraid." -

"True bravery is shown by performing, without witnesses, what one might be capable of doing before all the world." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"To seek to extinguish anger utterly is but a bravery of the Stoics." - Francis Bacon

"Beauty, purity, respectability, religion, morality, art, patriotism, bravery and the rest… are mere words, useful for duping barbarians into adopting civilization, or the civilized poor into submitting to be robbed and enslaved. This is the family secret of the governing class." - George Bernard Shaw

"Greatness, in the last analysis, is largely bravery - courage in escaping from old ideas and old standards and respectable ways of doing things. This is one of the chief elements in what we vaguely call capacity. If you do not dare differ from your associates and teachers you will never be great or your life sublime. You may be the happier as a result, or you may be miserable. Each of us is great insofar as we perceive and act on the infinite possibilities which lie undiscovered and unrecognized about us." - James Harvey Robinson

"I abstain from the people who consider insolence bravery and tenderness cowardice. And I abstain from those who consider chatter wisdom and silence ignorance." - Kahlil Gibran

"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado." - Menander, aka Menander of Athens NULL

"Courtesy is compatible with bravery." - Mexican Proverbs

"Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death." -

"The world has a way of giving what is demanded of it. If you are frightened and look for failure and poverty, you will get them, no matter how hard you may try to succeed. Lack of faith in yourself, in what life will do for you, cuts you off from the good things of the world. Expect victory and you make victory. Nowhere is this truer than in business life, where bravery and faith bring both material and spiritual rewards." - Preston Bradley

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of the rest or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance... Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change the world that yields most painfully to change." - Robert Kennedy, fully Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy

"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is one essential vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change." - Robert Kennedy, fully Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy

"Common experience shows how much rarer is moral courage than physical bravery. A thousand men will march to the mouth of a cannon where one man will dare espouse an unpopular cause. " - Clarence Darrow, fully Clarence Seward Darrow

"People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality when one knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on. Discipline, pride, self-respect, self-confidence, and the love of glory are attributes which will make a man courageous even when he is afraid. " - George S. Patton, fully George Smith Patton, Jr.

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on. Discipline, pride, self-respect, self-confidence, and the love of glory are attributes which will make a man courageous even when he is afraid." - George S. Patton, fully George Smith Patton, Jr.

"Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will. " - James Stephens

"The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"War is an unmitigated evil. But it certainly does one good thing. It drives away fear and brings bravery to the surface." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"You may have the bravery of a strong fighter, but unless you possess the intelligent strength of discriminating knowledge, you will not turn the tide in the battle with samsara. So possess the intelligent strength of discriminating knowledge!" - Padmasamabhava, "The Lotus-Born", aka Guru Rinpoche "Precious Guru" or Lopon Rinpoche or Padum in Tibet NULL

"The spiritual journey involves going beyond hope and fear, stepping into unknown territory, continually moving forward. The most important aspect of being on the spiritual path may be to just keep moving. Usually, when we reach our limit, we feel exactly like Rinpoche's attendants and freeze in terror. Our bodies freeze and so do our minds. Rather than indulge or reject our experience, we can somehow let the energy of the emotion, the quality of what we're feeling pierce us to the heart. This is a noble way to live. It’s the path of compassion - the path of cultivating human bravery and kindheartedness." - Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

"True bravery is quiet, undemonstrative." -

"No matter what you think about the Iraq war, there is one thing we can all agree on for the next days - we have to salute the courage and bravery of those who are risking their lives to vote and those brave Iraqi and American soldiers fighting to protect their right to vote." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"I think we're living in an age which despises humanity and despises bravery and doesn't need bravery because modern warfare has rather gone beyond bravery. It is a kind of warfare where people are fighting enemies they never see, killing people of whom they know nothing." - Robertson Davies

"In my opinion it is less shameful for a king to be overcome by force of arms than by bribery." - Sallust, full name Carus Valerius Sailustius Crispus NULL

"The Americans of the age were not an irreligious people; and the fact that they were Christian was very important, for the marks of Christianity lay all across the Constitution." - Theodore H. White, fully Theodore Harold White

"Working women have the same need to protection that working men have; the ballot is as necessary for one class as to the other; we do not believe that with the two sexes there is identity of function; but we do believe there should be equality of right." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"While wading through the whimsies, the puerilities, and unintelligible jargon of this work Plato's Republic, I laid it down often to ask myself how it could have been that the world should have so long consented to give reputation to such nonsense as this?" - Thomas Jefferson

"Orderliness - One doesn't have to begin to learn how to be silent, but one has to begin with learning to function in an orderly, clear, unconfused way. Every cerebral movement has to be clear, precise and accurate. Accuracy, precision, is the breath of orderliness. So I learn to be precise and accurate. And in learning to be precise and accurate I learn to be totally present with everything that I do." - Vimala Thakar

"In each age men of genius undertake the ascent. From below, the world follows them with their eyes. These men go up the mountain, enter the clouds, disappear, reappear, People watch them, mark them. They walk by the side of precipices. They daringly pursue their road. See them aloft, see them in the distance; they are but black specks. On they go. The road is uneven, its difficulties constant. At each step a wall, at each step a trap. As they rise the cold increases. They must make their ladder, cut the ice and walk on it, hewing the steps in haste. A storm is raging. Nevertheless they go forward in their madness. The air becomes difficult to breath. The abyss yawns below them. Some fall. Others stop and retrace their steps; there is a sad weariness. The bold ones continue. They are eyed by the eagles; the lightning plays about them: the hurricane is furious. No matter, they persevere." - Victor Hugo

"Most centrist Democrats... try to distance themselves from controversies that recall the 1960s. There are journalistic centrists as well, who avoid hard truths for the sake of acceptance and legitimacy." - Tom Hayden, fully Thomas Emmet "Tom" Hayden

"You may possess the power and might of a world ruler, but unless you gain mastery over your own mind, when the time of death arrives you still haven’t attained the power of freedom. So gain mastery over your mind!" - Padmasambhava, literally "Lotus-Born",aka "Second Buddha", better known as Guru Rinpoche (lit. "Precious Guru") or Lopon Rinpoche NULL

"Not me, of course, as I am now officially a spinster librarian and must stay home with my cat and drink tea." - Eleanor Brown, fully Nora Eleanor Louisa Hervey Brown