Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What enables courage?

General Sir Peter de le Billiere states that 'fighting in war creates an environment where fear is prevalent, and unless courage prevails, all is lost.' Courage is only possible because of the impulse to action component in our evolved survival mechanism.

One of the most important adaptive attributes of emotion is the decoupling of stimulus and response. We are no longer organisms that have reflexive-type responses to stimuli. Stimulus and response are decoupled enabling our body to be prepared for action but the action to be considered.

We want to flee when fearful, however, we don't necessarily flee. We want to fight when angered, but we don't always lash out. This non-action associated with an impulse to act is an adaptive feature of emotion that provides for increased behavioural adaptability to environmental stimuli.

De Le Billiere encourages anyone who goes to war to understand the enigma of courage and its critical importance in overcoming fear. My work does just that but from a unique perspective.

Reflections based on the work I'm currently doing on a chapter in my book on the survival process. 

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Your comments make my work all the more relevant as I use them to direct my research and theorising. Thank you.