Dear Logan,

Today, I woke up to the sound of you crying.  Your mom had watched as you turned around and took your first step all by yourself, and fell flat.  She was proud of you, but mad that she let you fall.  She was just too curious to see what you would do.  In your first 7 months, you haven’t shown much fear of anything so far.  Mostly just your grandparents. 🙂  But you got over that pretty fast.

Courage is an interesting word to try to define.  Here are some definitions that I found:

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary:

The ability to do something that frightens one.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary:

That quality of mind which enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear, or fainting of heart; valor; boldness; resolution.

I like the first one the best.  It doesn’t waste words, and it captures the most important part of the definition; that you’re scared, but you do it anyway.  Webster’s Unabridged not only wasted the most words, it didn’t even get it right (“without fear”).  I think you have to have fear to have courage.  Courage is understanding what you’re afraid of, choosing to face the fear, and being prepared to accept the consequences of failing, in exchange for the chance at being rewarded.

It’s different from being “fearless”, which just means not being scared in the first place.  Fearlessness is stupid.  Fear is a healthy thing.  It will keep you alive, and help keep you from getting hurt.

So many people go through life without trying things because they’re too scared of what might happen, and they lack the self-confidence to face those fears.  I’m going to try hard to raise you to be courageous, and be smart.  I won’t always be there to catch you when you fall, but I promise to always be there to pick you right back up when you do.

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