Courage is not fearless, it is about what is right | News, Sports, Jobs


We have just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Most people old enough to remember the time remember it very well.

At the time, I was a business manager meeting with a client in Buchanan, Virginia. Joe, a tall burley, barged into the meeting and told us that a plane had just crashed into one of New York’s Twin Towers. When he barged in and said the second tower had been hit, we all knew something was up. Then we heard about the Pentagon attack and Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA. I feared for the safety of my children in Maryland, Virginia and my oldest in the Navy somewhere on a ship. My wife was at the retirement home where she worked. On the way home, the sky was strangely calm as all the planes had been pinned to the ground.

The stories of courage on September 11 are remarkable, from the first responders in New York to the passengers on Flight 93 who brought the plane down before it could reach its target in Washington, DC All of these heroes overcame the fear to do what was needed to be completed. Courage is not about being fearless. It is about doing what is right and should be done despite the fear. In the military, we have learned that fear before battle is normal and good. It improves eyesight and prevents people from being reckless and endangering others.

Great leaders are courageous, not fearless and stupid. When the crowd goes the wrong way, it takes courage to overcome peer pressure and say “No.” One of the biggest challenges people face is the fear of the pain of failure. This fear keeps us from being the best we can be. We can learn from failure. At a high school lecture I was leading a few years ago, a student said, “You know you fail to score on 100% of the shots you don’t take. “ Fear of rejection or ridicule from others can also keep us from achieving our dreams.

In August 2001, the senior members of our football team made it their goal to return to the state tournament and not only play for, but win the state championship. It took courage. They knew it wouldn’t be easy. I announced their goal during a team dinner with the parents present. The boys applauded. The parents’ faces were fearful and terrified. Some shook their heads. They were afraid their sons would fail. We returned to the state football tournament. We didn’t win the state championship. It took 8 more years for this to happen. The boys were disappointed but had developed the courage to aim high and now led successful lives as doctors, lawyers, engineers and businessmen.

One of the best ways to overcome fear is to do what you fear. My daughter helped me overcome fear and doubt to run a half marathon. After running over 40 half marathons together, we had hours of running and talking without distractions or phone interruptions. My daughter was an assistant football coach in high school. The school had never had a senior women’s football coach. She had fears and doubts about her ability to do the job. My encouragement helped her continue the work when the opportunity presented itself. She is now doing a great job as a head coach.

Well-informed, experienced and moral people can be intimidated and silenced by personal attacks in the media or online. I have witnessed this first hand personally and with others. You can’t let emotion get the better of solid science, basic engineering principles and hands-on experience.

Experts must have the courage to share the truth and their concerns to prevent bad things from happening.

This week I virtually attended an energy policy conference in Virginia. There were no climate deniers among the speakers. They were very concerned about the direction of the solutions proposed by the government. The opening speaker was environmentalist Michael Shellenberger who wrote the book Apocalypse Never. He is concerned about the current policy which relies heavily on weather-dependent renewables as a solution.

He experienced power outages in California caused by reliance on wind and solar power. Michael and others have had the courage to change their minds about industrial wind and solar plants.

Michael said the North American right whale is a critically endangered species. There are currently only 100 breeding females. The Virginia offshore wind project will impact right whale breeding grounds and continues to move forward. The large windmill blades will also impact a major flyway, killing millions of birds to produce a small amount of unreliable power.

Michael said renewables require 300 times more land area than natural gas or nuclear power. Other speakers spoke of Virginia’s plan to cover more than 400,000 acres of farmland and forest, killing trees with solar panels. They said these projects will cost consumers more than $ 800 per year in increased electricity costs and damage the environment.

The presenters said the United States was already on the right track. Natural gas has helped the United States cut emissions by 22% since 2005 and is 4% ahead of the Paris targets. They see a clean future with natural gas and modern high-tech nuclear power with zero emissions, rather than using solar panels and wind turbines made in China with power from dirty coal.

Ultimately, they see hydrogen as our primary fuel for electricity and vehicles. Hydrogen vehicles do not need batteries which become hazardous waste to be disposed of.

We will be faced with situations requiring courage. It may be about making a difficult decision that will be unpopular. It could be doing what we know to be right when others want to do something immoral or unethical. It can be the fear of failure, the fear of trying something new, or the fear of telling the truths we know.

Courage is not a lack of fear. Courage is doing what we know is right and necessary or what we need to do to be successful despite our fears. Be brave.

Greg Kozera, [email protected], is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s degree in environmental engineering with over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. He is a football coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.

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