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Courage Is a Virtue

In: Film and Music

Submitted By jeco77
Words 1095
Pages 5
Enoch Olutayo
Dr Kristin Rajan
Engl 1102-222
6th September 2013
Courage is a virtue
As a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons. Some were memorable and had an impact on my life, while some were not. One of the most memorable was a cartoon called ‘Courage the Cowardly Dog’. You can probably see from the title that this cartoon was very interesting. It has had a big impact on my philosophy as I have learnt life facts from watching it. I believe that I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today if I never came across it.
I think it’s safe to say that as a kid, I did not know and understand a lot of things. The world to me was in black and white. You were either the good guy or the bad guy and when I watched TV, I always liked the good guys. This was how I felt when watching ‘Courage the Cowardly Dog’ but all that started to change as I grew up. This cartoon was about a dog named Courage that was adopted by a woman named Muriel. She found him abandoned on a trash can hungry and needing a diaper change. Her and her husband, Eustace, were on their way home when she saw him and immediately fell in love with him. Courage loved Muriel for being nice and loving, almost like a mother to him, so he always took care of her.
As you can probably see from the title of the show, Courage’s name is a contradiction of his actual personality. He got frightened by almost anything and was always suspicious of people and activities that happened around him. They lived in the middle of nowhere, which was what the place was called and therefore, had no neighbors. This was also contributed to the paranoia that Courage had all the time. A lot of strange things happened in Nowhere like aliens coming from the sky, random creatures popping from the ground, and even a Succubus. As you can imagine, Courage was scared to death every time. So with all this happening around them, Muriel’s life was always in danger as she was kidnapped multiple times, forced to marry a “goose god”, and even transformed into an alien. Courage always protected and saved her even though he was frightened. Now, it would be a good time to state that Courage was small and wasn’t physically strong. This is the pure definition of bravery and courage; risking your well-being to help someone else even when afraid of what might happen to you. Taking risks to help others no matter the cost. This taught me that courage is not being fearless, but being afraid and still doing what has to be done by facing your fears. That takes guts and heart. So I constantly ask myself if I would help others even if I were scared of the outcome or situation. Courage has taught me that love always overcomes fear.
When people you love are in danger, you do whatever to help them. Courage was no different as he went out of his way to save Muriel no matter the cost. With that being said, the question of morality comes into the picture. Courage, who I considered the “good guy”, would do things that were not necessary right to protect Muriel, although most of the unrighteous things he did were either a mistake or he had no other choice. This made me ask the question “if a person does a bad thing to help someone, is it justified?” Does the end justify the means? Suddenly the world wasn’t black and white anymore and I wrestled with these thoughts of “what is right”, and “should I protect those I care about no matter the cost?” My eyes were opened by a dog on TV to see things in a totally different light. I began to understand that morality is a bit more complicated. The question of what is right and wrong is difficult to answer. In different places and with different people, an action might be viewed a righteous by some and evil by others. For example, in some cultures, when eating as a guest in a stranger’s home, it is seen as courteous to finish everything given to you, while in some other cultures it may be seen as a bad thing. I learnt that morality is based on individual perspectives rather than a fundamental law.
I have heard people say “don’t pay evil with evil” and “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Well I’m sure Courage would concur. Eustace (Muriel’s husband) never liked Courage but Courage still protected him and cared for him. Eustace would insult and physically hit Courage and sometimes, put on a scary mask to spook him. Funny thing is it’s the same mask every single time and Courage would still be scared. You would think it would get old. Anyway, Courage always treated him how he treated Muriel, ignoring and forgiving Eustace and helping him when he was in trouble. This made me think. Should I help my enemies and protect people who would try to harm me? How will this benefit me? I thought to myself, bad people help the ones they love too so what makes them different from good people? Courage taught me that going the extra mile makes all the difference; extending a helping hand to someone who wouldn’t do the same for you. That’s what makes the difference. This is easier said than done, but I believe this to be true. Now I am not saying that I would go out of my way to help a person who is trying to hurt me, I’m saying that I have learnt that this is what makes a person better. Some people might say that it is foolish to help someone who is out to get you and I might agree with them to some extent, but we should never forget that those people are also human beings.
Being always willing to help those who need it no matter the cost, doing difficult things to ensure the safety of those you care about, and helping those who do not necessarily like you. These are the things I have learnt from watching this show. It has helped me to grow and understand that life is not black and white and things are not always simple. My philosophy on life has been greatly affected by this show and I am very happy I got to experience it.

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