May 2007 Character Quality -- Boldness
the following editorial article was written by Gloria Cooper for publication in The Paris News --
      In the face of the impending annihilation of London, one man stood tall amidst the rubble.  
Winston Churchill refused to surrender the country of Great Britain to a madman and his
cohorts.  Ever since the fateful day, September 1, 1939, when Poland fell under the Nazi boot,
many other European nations surrendered to Germany, regardless of any amount of
resistance.  However, England was different.  England had a prime minister who saw through the
immediate problems to future consequences – and this prime minister would not allow the fall of
England.  Churchill went from front to front, encouraging his men, meeting with his generals, and
being a pillar of hope to his citizens.  Frequently, the passerby observed his confident face and
his two fingers raised in a sign of victory.  There was no doubt that Churchill was certain of his
mission as prime minister.  England did hold on – and soon America came to her rescue in
January of 1942.  However, England passed the hardest test in that she was not willing to give

      Boldness is confidence that what I say or do is true, right, and just.  Boldness is believing so
much in our stance that we are willing to die for it.  Boldness is John Paul Jones, standing before
his shelled-out fleet, and declaring, “I have not yet begun to fight.”  We build boldness in our
lives by understanding what it is we stand for – and why.  First, we must evaluate our standards
against the standard of pure truth and, if necessary, raise them.  With this as our foundation, we
must then have the courage to speak the truth regardless of pressure.  Immediate
‘consequences’ aside, the truth does set you free.  By proclaiming what is right, we can change
situations, circumstances, and even lives!  
While it may be easy to be bold to another, it is not always easy to be as straightforward in
ourselves.  Nevertheless, in order for our words to have any weight to them, we need to ensure
that we keep a clear conscience.  Or as the Apostle Paul says, “A conscience void of offense
toward God and man.”  We will know that we have a clear conscience when no one can point a
finger at us and say, “You wronged me and never tried to make it right.”  When we have cleared
our conscience with all men, we then have power in our own life to declare truth in other

      Not only should we expect others to side with us when we speak, but we should also support
others when they are right – even when it may not be politically correct.  This is the time when
boldness matters the most.  As easy as it is to agree with popular opinion, it is that much more
difficult to go against the tide with unpopular decisions.  We must be willing to stand alone in the
face of such situations.  First, we need the conviction that what we stand for is correct.  Then we
need the courage to keep standing.  

      This month, we pause to remember and celebrate the lives of thousands of our bravest men
and women who stormed beaches, braved swamps, parachuted over fields of land mines, and
endured blinding dust storms.  In every heart that beats for the cause of freedom, there grows a
seed of boldness – not to settle for the ‘normal’ or to shrug at the inevitable.  These servicemen
perform their duty so that, disregarding the cost, what is false, wrong, and dishonorable will
become that which is true, right, and just.  
Portions of this article have been adapted from Character First! material.  For more information about the
Character First! program and resources contact:  Character Training Institute, 520 W. Main Street, Oklahoma
City, OK  73102,  (405) 815-0001. Visit the Character Council of Red River Valley at
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