HEROES

Mrs. Eddy gave a pertinent truth fitting expression when she wrote, "There is too much animal courage in society and not sufficient moral courage" (Science and Health, p. 28). We are in the habit of associating the name hero with martial conflict. In our usual conception he is the man of war, one who in the face of mortal fear does some noble action—leads a forlorn hope perchance, saves a comrade from death, or wins a splendid victory. The world always bestows praise and honor upon physical courage and endurance. So satisfactory are and ever have been the rewards given by mortals to mere physical bravery, that a courageous action is made comparatively easy. In fact, it has been said by a soldier that it requires almost more courage to flee than to advance, so great is the fear of blame.

The praise of men and the desire to be thought well of by one's fellows are dear to every heart. The knowledge that such and such a deed will command a due meed of praise has ever been the chief incentive to courageous action. It was said in the South African war that so great was the desire on the part of the officers to win the Victoria cross that many brave men exposed their lives in running needless risks. Men will face death again and again, helped by the knowledge that their world will cry, "Well done!" And it is well that it should be so. Physical courage is a splendid quality, and shows a disregard for matter and mortal fear which is eminently praiseworthy. But what of moral courage? Does this spiritual bravery command the same meed of praise?

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