“Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.”
― Baltasar Gracian

Wisdom, justice, courage and temperance, the 4 stoic cardinal virtues. Let’s talk about courage, with a Spanish twist.

In the Spanish language, there is another word you can use to refer to courage: Gallardia.

Gallardia is a bit different from what you can understand when using the word courage.

Look at Don Quixote, un hombre Gallardo ( a brave man ). But, when you describe him as gallardo, you describe him as brave, with style. He makes a ceremony out of his braveness, he almost makes a theater, an exhibition a show, out of it.

He is extremely proud of his bravery and cannot fathom to think, giving it up, brave is what he is, he is a gallardo man.

The difference to saying he is a brave man is that saying he is gallardo adds spice to it, adds ceremony and attractiveness.

Another example, the rooster. The rooster is a proud bird, it will fight, to the death and he declares that with the brightness of its colors, its posture and stance and willingness to engage.

Why am I saying this?

Virtue is attractive.

When you hear the word virtue? What do you imagine? Do you imagine a person you want to emulate, or do you think of someone boring?

I believe, popularly at least, the latter. When you are a kid and you are in ethics class or virtues class, at least in my experience, they were boring. I didn’t want to be the good kid that sits down straight and always obeys his teacher, who the hell wants that?

The problem was that that kind of teaching: obedience and conformity and being “good” is what has come to be perceived as a virtue.

The hilarious thing about this is that virtue, is the complete opposite to being nice and obedient. Virtue stands for truth and authenticity and therefore, many times stands for conflict with what is not right.

This is the reason why I love the Spanish term: Gallardo. It gives virtue and courage that attractiveness back. It takes courage and virtue, not something dull and boring, but something to be sought after, something clearly satisfying to have.

Virtue is the sole good.

How about you? Feeling Gallardo yet?

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