Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got? 

The Cowardly Lion laments throughout The Wizard of Oz that he lacks courage. When Dorothy and the others find him, he is cowering in fear and not doing anything. That’s because living life, truly living life, requires courage. It’s easy to shrug off life, to live complacently, doing everything the way you’ve always done it. But for anything in life to mean anything, we must be courageous. 

As a senior in college, the future is looming quite inevitably and I must admit, that makes me a little scared. I’ve seen too many people I know graduate from college and proceed to waste several years of their lives. It would be easy for me to take the easy way out and do something comfortable. But if I want my life to mean anything, there has to be a little risk involved. I have to be courageous and go out on a limb a bit. 

The thing is, the Cowardly Lion, once he met Dorothy, did begin to live life. It wasn’t the diploma that made him brave. It was simply being brave that made him brave. We can’t wait around, reading books on courage and learning how to live life. We must simply live it. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

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