you never can begin to live until you dare to die...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Definition of a Coward:

"Coward. A man in whom the instinct of self preservation acts normally."
-Sultana Zaraya

Can I just say that one more time?

Coward. A man in whom the insctinct of self preservation acts normally.

4 comments:

Katherine Sophia said...

oooh... I find that absolutely thought-provoking.

and fascinating if you think about it long enough...

Kyle said...

Eh, I have my problems with this idea. I mean, "Discretion is the better part of valor," right? Sometimes, in my opinion, thinking about what's best is better than blindly running in, not thinking about coming back out. In a lot of situations this quote works out nicely, but it brings to mind a particularly nasty hill on my bike loop.

It's got a bunch of names among the other bikers I know, but it's mostly just someone's name matched with the word bane. Other's call it tomahawk because of one biker who tomahawked down it. Around my family we just call it, "That hill where [my brother] nearly killed himself". He was riding down and lost his breaks. My other brother was surprised he came out in one piece after the fall, which was somewhere around fifteen to twenty feet if I remember correctly.

I know I can ride down it in the right conditions, but that doesn't stop me from walking down it every time I give it a shot. It's in my instinct of self preservation to walk down it every time to check for particularly loose soil, remember which roots to avoid, and all that, because I don't want to end up in a "pretzel" (Another name for the hill).

Sure, I don't walk away from the challenge of going down it, but even if I did I don't know if I would consider myself, or anyone else who chooses not to for that matter, a coward.

When it comes to protecting someone else, I think that selflessness and the destruction of that instinct of self preservations is great. But there are still plenty of other situations where I think that person is making an unjustifiable blanket statement.

Like John Green put it: "The truth resists simplicity."

Gray said...

Yet isn't that what quotes are for? Pithy statements that capture the truth under certain circumstances? I don't know about you, but I don't add a little disclaimer at the end of all my quotes saying, "Of course, this only applies in ___ areas." I take that as a given when I collect my little truths. Then again, after so many years of debate talk, I've sort of driven away fom having to qualify everything that I say... as far as subjective, personal material goes. Naturally, when I'm in a formal debate or coachng my friends in a debate or writing a research paper or writing a news story, I'll back everything up with things I can prove as fact.

Here I stumbled upon a statement holding a simple truth. Cowardice is loving and saving your own life first. I took it to be in the context that there is something to preseve rather than yourself. what separates a hero from a daredevil is who the hero is protecting-- his own ego or other people?

I'm basically repeating what you just said. Then again, this might seem out of context to the rest of the world, because I wrote a ten-minute speech on this quote [loosely] and so had the time to expound on my position..... =) I guess I've qualified this quote before and I didn't take the time to qualify it here.

Maybe I'll post a series on heroism.

Kyle said...

Series on heroism? I'd read it. I think it's interesting what people think makes an actual hero.

And I can totally see where you're coming from with the quote, but, like almost every quote, it seems to barely scratch the surface of the actual topic. It's a nice idea, but there are so many kinds of cowards and so many kinds of heroes that it doesn't really do the topic justice.

Which is why you need to write a series on the topic.