most dangerous man on earth is the man who has reckoned with his own
death. All men die; few men ever really live. Sure, you can create a
safe life for yourself . . . and end your days in a rest home
babbling on about some forgotten misfortune. Id rather go down
swinging. Besides, the less we are trying to "save ourselves," the
more effective a warrior we will be.
Listen to G. K. Chesterton on courage:
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong
desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. "He that will
lose his life, the same shall save it" is not a piece of mysticism
for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors
or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill
book. The paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite
earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save
his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away
from death by continually stepping within an inch of it.
A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut
his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a
strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life,
for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not
merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not
escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to
it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.