One of the best things about being with some really smart people at IIFT was, pile them with strong beer and they’d be on their way unraveling the deeper meaning of life. On one particular occasion, the discussion turned to “What is love?”.
What I understand is: in their purest forms, love and courage are both “suppressing the basic instinct of self-preservation”. Let me explain.
Love – The most often celebrated form of love is a mother willing to face extreme danger and death, just to save her child.
What’s she doing here? Suppressing her instinct of self-preservation, for the sake of her child.
Courage – The highest award for bravery given in the Indian Armed Forces is the Param Vir Chakra and it is awarded for “the most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or in the air.” Consider this; 14 of the 21 awardees have received it posthumously.
What’s my point here? It is that courage is celebrated because it is again, the suppressing of the instinct of self-preservation. In times of war, soldiers do this regularly while they go in to battle or take on situations with difficult odds.
The difference between Love & Courage – Love is when you are willing to suppress your instinct of self-preservation for someone whom you know, are close to & are fond of.
Courage is when you do the same, usually for someone you don’t know. Soldiers giving up their lives for their countrymen, strangers pushing someone out of the way of a moving vehicle and risking death themselves, etc.
Also, check out the other “Core of the Issue” posts