The social media onslaught on King Oyo this week made my respect for the queen mother, Best Kemigisa grow by leaps and bounds. I admired that she kept out of the hullabaloo and let Oyo handle it his own way which was a genius response. The 23 year old king exhibited the single most important virtue every person should have: courage.
Children as we all know mirror what they see at home. He has seen his mother and sister excellently weather storms that would have crushed ordinary people. He knows deep down that people will judge no matter what you do and he knows that the best way to handle criticisms is to show up with courage strengthened by a clear conscience. Courage is not feelings; it consists of objective knowledge. Contrary to popular belief, courage isn’t inborn but a teachable and learnable skill, and most everyone has the capacity to be courageous.
Aristotle called courage the first virtue, because it informs and strengthens all others. In addition to being the most important human virtue, it is the most important business and leadership virtue, as well. Leadership takes courage because it involves making bold and often unpopular decisions. Innovation involves creating ground-breaking but tradition-defying ideas which takes courage. A sale requires being repeatedly rejected before closing a deal which takes courage too.
The world is able to advance because somewhere someone has had the courage to make first attempts, risk becoming a pioneer and step up to the plate. Children’s lives become transformed when someone has the courage to have faith in them; they boldly rise to challenges and voice unpopular opinions.
With less fear and more courage, children are able to take on harder projects, deal better with change and speak up more willingly about important issues. In short, courageous children try more, trust more and tell more. As a parent, your job is to put courage inside your children by all means necessary.