Means between Extremes: Cowardice vs. Rushness

Jun 19, 2014 by

Aristotle advocated the belief that many right actions are a means between extremes.  Here I take a set of extremes and analyze why it is that they are an extreme and what the flaws with the action are.  I then analyze the means between the extremes.  I will try to show where the middle ground between the two generally is.  Today, I will be looking at:

Cowardice vs. Rushness


Cowardice is when you are to paralyzed by fear to do what needs to be done.  Cowardice can be in important actions, a coward on the battlefield is a person who runs away or hides from the fight.  Cowardice can also be in the less important actions, a coward is the person who does not ask out the girl he likes because she might reject him or does not speak up in conversation because he is afraid of people not liking what he has to say.  Cowardice is when you are incapable of doing what you know needs to be done because you are afraid.


Rushness is when you cast aside all caution in order to perform an action.  Rushness is the person who, alone, storms an enemy position.  Rushness is the person who drives wrecklessly on the freeway to get to his destination a little faster.  Rushness is the person who speaks up when he shouldn’t.  Rushness is when you do not take the necessary caution.


Courage is ability to control the natural fear that you have, while being cautious about the dangers that exist.  It is the recognition that fear is a warning, not a stop sign.  Fear tells the body that there is danger ahead, proceed with caution.  When you are able to master fear, that caution is not merely something you no longer feel, but it is truly recognized for what it is and heeded, though not necessarily obeyed.  Examples of courage are the soldier who fights for his country by using tactics.  The kid who asks the girl out.  The person who speaks their mind.  Courage is the fireman who rushes into the building because he knows that he has a chance to save a life.  Courage is the soldier who rushes forward to drag a wounded comrade out of battle.  Courage is the ability to not act because everything is as it should be.  Courage is not always the same in every situation.  The Courage it takes to fight in a war is rushness in driving down the road.  The Courage it takes to drive down the road is cowardice in battle.  Rather, it is tied into the recognition of what is right, through reason.  Courage is the ability to do what is right because it is right.

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