Many criticize those who chose to remain silent in the face of Donald Trump’s many moral and political outrages without publicly criticizing him and/or resigning from his company or his administration in protest. Yet, it is something that we ought to respect when people decide at last to go on record when everything is on the line in our democracy.

Young Cassidy Hutchinson worked for years in the Trump Administration. How she was able to do so is a question only she can answer for herself. However, what she did this week and over the past months in testifying before the January 6 House Committee was no small thing even though her break from Trump came so late in the game. The nation owes her a huge debt of gratitude.

I have been compiling a book of quotations on every conceivable theme over the past 30+ years. I read through the long list concerning “courage” today and I thought to share with you the most compelling among them given this current moment in American history.

I hope these have meaning for you.

“Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.” –Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), author and journalist

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear— not absence of fear. Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” –Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” –J.K. Rowling (b. 1965), author

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  –Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“It is not the critic who counts … The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is actually marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows great enthusiasm and great devotions, whose life is spent in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and at worst, if failure wins out, it at least wins with greatness, so that this person’s place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”  –Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”  –Anais Nin (1903-1977), writer

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”  –Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899), lawyer, writer, and orator

“No one ever achieved greatness by playing it safe.”  –Harry Gray (b. 1935), professor of chemistry, Cal Tech

“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”  –Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)

“For in a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in politics, “hold office”; every one of us is in a position of responsibility; and, in the final analysis, the kind of government we get depends upon how we fulfill those responsibilities. We, the people, are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve.”  –John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

“Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change… Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues [and] the wrath of their society.” –Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)