Virtues & Values: Fortitude

Fortitude as a foundational virtue.

FEATUREDI - INTUITION, SPIRITUALITY, PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

Shain Clark

7/14/20232 min read

Fortitude

Fortitude is the determined courage in facing pain or adversity. It is the moral strength that allows an individual to endure and overcome difficulties, not by insensitivity or by blocking emotions, but by facing them with strength and resilience. Fortitude, hence, is the backbone of courage and resolution in the face of hardship.

It is also the word on my family crest; a motto describing the characteristics of my lineage. For this reason, this particular virtue holds special significance to me. Regardless of what life throws at us, we must not only endure but embrace and push forward. Successes bring just as many opportunities for defeat as they do further victories; fortitude is the way through hardship, but also the key virtue in realizing that we must be vigilant in thoughts and efforts.

Fortitude is not mere braveness or toughness, it combines courage with endurance. It involves not only facing danger but also enduring pain and challenges, holding onto one’s moral and ethical grounds in the midst of adversity.

To possess fortitude is to be steadfast in adversity. It is the power to endure, to face trials and tribulations with courage and resolve. It is the refusal to capitulate under stress, but instead, to stand firm and persevere.

"Adversity is the first path to truth." - Lord Byron, poet
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men." - John F. Kennedy, American President
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." - Mahatma Gandhi
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." - Psalm 46:1, Holy Bible
"There is neither this world, nor the world beyond, nor happiness for the one who doubts." - Bhagavad Gita
"Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues." - John Locke
"A wise man does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus, Philosopher

"One of the duties of fortitude is to keep the weak from receiving injury; another, to check the wrong motions of our own souls; a third, both to disregard humiliations and to do what is right with an even mind. All these clearly ought to be fulfilled by all Christians, and especially by the clergy" - Saint Ambrose

Cowardice, the opposite of fortitude, is not only the refusal to confront danger, pain or adversity, but also the refusal to endure. It is the abandonment of one's own potential, the shrinking away from challenge and growth. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it... You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Now you see why this is a foundational virtue and a valuable tool for becoming the best version of yourself so you can be an example to the world.

Successes bring just as many opportunities for defeat as they do further victories; fortitude is the way through hardship, but also the key virtue in realizing that we must be vigilant in thoughts and efforts - R. S. Clark

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