What does it mean to have a courageous and giving heart? First, let us know the definitions of both words and then reflect on their meanings:
- Courageous: not deterred by danger or pain; the quality of being ready and willing to face negative situations involving danger or pain
- Giving: providing love or other emotional support; having the wisdom to see people’s needs and the desire to meet them
In everyday usage, the adjective ‘courageous’ has more to do with ‘being brave’ or ‘able to endure.’ ‘Giving’ has more to do with ‘caring,’ ‘giving someone something without receiving anything in return,’ ‘making gifts or donation,’ ‘giving generously to charity,’ etc.
Both qualities – ‘courageous’ and ‘giving’ – are matters of the heart. In fact, the root word of ‘courageous’ (or ‘courage’) comes from the Latin ‘cor,’ meaning heart. In the earliest form of the word, being courageous meant telling your story and speaking your mind with your whole heart.
‘Giving,’ on the other hand, is the attitude of the heart. It means more than just giving away something, particularly money, freely, randomly, exuberantly, and at no real cost to one’s livelihood or personal finances. ‘Giving’ is not solely about the money or resources but the heart. It is all about the quality, not the quantity.
So what does it mean to have a courageous and giving heart? How powerful can a person be with a courageous and giving heart? The acts of courage and giving mean so much more. Let us consider the following stories:
- A mother who understands the needs and moods of her child and knows what her child wants. Despite struggling with parenting (and other issues), she sacrifices for her child and strives to give her child the best. Parenting is a job with no rest days and zero salary.
- A person who raises a child not his/her own, putting his/her entire life at the service of a child not his/her own. It takes someone exceptional to raise a child not his/her own flesh and blood and even not his/her own ethnicity.
- A religious missionary who chose to live with and serve the sick and the outcast, later eventually contracting the disease and then dying among those whom he served. For many people, there is no glamor in serving the sick and infected, only suffering and death.
- Environmental and indigenous people’s rights activists who were murdered for their cause
These are just four of the countless stories that demonstrate what a person with a courageous and giving heart could do in life – and with their life. To have or rather to live with a courageous and giving heart is to live in the service of others and help to make a positive impact on the world. It is to live and let your life tell the story of your heart.
The power of a courageous and giving heart compels one to refuse to play it safe and to voice out what he/she really thinks… to take a stand, take a risk despite the risk of repression or worse, death. It takes such a heart to follow one’s values and live out one’s principles.