Post CEFR level: B2

If we think of the word courage we immediately associate it with a hero, someone who fights against a powerful enemy and is willing to sacrifice his life for a higher ideal. Beowulf is a hero: he faces monsters of terrifying strength and ferocity and eventually sacrifices his life. Beowulf is not brave for himself, but he fights for a threatened people and wants to save them from danger.

In the last few months the whole world has been going through a difficult and exceptional situation because of the Covid 19 virus. Doctors and nurses have been called heroes and they have struggled, in such a dramatic and unexpected situation, to save lives, to defend their communities from an invisible but terrible enemy, armed with courage, cold blood and empathy. But locked in their homes for social distancing, even those who were well have helped people who needed psychological comfort. In each of us, courage means also heroism, and it takes so little!

Courage, though, is not only heroism, it is also the capacity to love in spite of the difficulties. If we read the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast we will certainly find brave Beauty, who looks beyond the physical appearance of the beast and falls in love with its personality, finding the purest and freest side of love. The courage to love is also what drives us to help without thinking about the consequences, just for deep empathy towards someone or something.

Even wanting to know the truth about oneself presupposes being courageous. How many times have we asked our friends what they think about us, or have we asked our parents to help us remember something that happened to us when we were young, but that now we don’t remember anymore. To have the courage to grow up means also to question who we are, so that we can fully live our lives. And it makes us feel close to David Balfour, the protagonist of the novel Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson, who goes through all kinds of difficulties and adventures to know the truth about his family.

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