A university professor, knowing her students expected a tediously long and difficult final exam in psychology, decided to play with their minds. She created a single question for the exam.
On exam day, her eyes gleamed with keen anticipation as the students opened their papers.
Immediate relief flooded every face – followed by confusion and consternation. Frowns creased brows, and several mouths dropped open. They all looked at the professor in disbelief.
All, that is, except one. One read the question, tapped a pen into his palm a few times, and then made a quick notation on the paper. He got to his feet, handed in the exam paper, and left the room. Fifty-eight pairs of shocked eyes followed him.
The professor opened the paper, and smiled broadly. With sweeping strokes, her red pen wrote “100%” on the top of the student’s test, and looked again at the paper’s two sentences:
Her question: What is courage?
His answer: This is.
That student found it easy to define courage, and did so with action. The others found it difficult, as you may – as we did until we began research for this book on this everyday character trait.
What is courage?