Brauns Law October 2019


TO TAKE ACTION The Definition of Courage

My wife and I recently decided to move closer to our firm’s office so that my commute could drop from an hour and 20 minutes down to 17 minutes. It allowed me to work more while still being home earlier, and to finally live in the community around my office. But that is not the topic for this month. The topic is courage. You see, our 14-year- old daughter was understandably upset by being uprooted from her longtime friends for what was supposed to be her last and best year of middle school — eighth grade. She displayed tremendous courage in facing that change head-on and didn’t miss a beat. She deliberately set out a plan to make new friends while keeping her current friendships in place. Courage isn’t the absence of fear but an urgent impulse to do something despite the fear. Think about that for a minute. There is something buried in that definition. “Urgent impulse.” Fear has a tendency to paralyze people. The answer, at least in my life, has always been to take instant, urgent action. Do the exact opposite of frozen. Taking action on the issue is what seizes control from fear and empowers you. Do not worry about, or fear, what you cannot control. Worry when you can control it, but do not take action.

“Courage isn’t the absence of fear but an urgent impulse to do something despite the fear.”

courtroom to a judge or jury. But I know that, after speaking a couple of words (taking action!), that will go away. When I used to scout rapids in my early 20s as a class IV kayaker, just moving and getting into the rapid removed all fear of what I was facing. When my wife and I were just out of college, with no money and having to shop at The Salvation Army for our furniture, we didn’t let the fear of loss or of having nothing stop us. We signed up for every temp job we could find. Taking urgent action and moving towards something bigger, brighter, and with more hope continues to propel us forward to this day. Some of the most courageous people I have come across are my clients. To have been a victim of a horrible accident that was in no way their fault, but that caused so many things to crumble — that is fear and concern that many cannot understand. But clients take action. Sometimes they have no choice, which creates the urgency to

become courageous. They call us and get someone in their corner. They take their health care and rehabilitation into their own hands and gain control over their injuries. They bob and weave at all the challenges a personal injury can throw at them. And the best display of courage I love seeing? When clients come out the backside of the case and decide to leverage their compensation for a better job, a better education, or a better home. They invest in themselves — the ultimate form of courage. Stay courageous. Don’t lose the sense of urgency. Harness it to do great things in the face of fear or uncertainty. -David Brauns

To this day I still get a knot in my throat when I say those first words in a


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