Define Cowardice

I have been challenged by The Daily Post to write about or define cowardice.

Apparently, everyone that is faced with something that frightens them experiences a “fight or flight” moment.  Is cowardice defined as the inclination to flee instead of fight?  If so, is there a time limit? Many people may initially flee but return to fight after formulating a plan of attack.  Others, like myself, tend to freeze in fright.  Where do we fit in?  I like to think eventually I thaw out enough to fight though.  Especially if the situation is threatening someone I care about.  I am known to be a bit of a momma bear.

In all my efforts to have a family, throughout three stillbirths and three miscarriages, I was repeatedly told how brave I was.  I did (do) not consider that bravery, more perseverance, and determination.

I believe cowardice means a lack of courage or bravery.  Not limited to a reaction during a traumatic event, it could also apply to a fear to try anything daunting, new, or different. Things like a new job, hobby, even a new personal relationship due to the fear of failure.

How do you define cowardice?

One thought on “Define Cowardice

  1. I think it’s normal to have a second or two of hesitation like “Do I really want to do this?”, or “I can’t believe I’m going to do this.”, maybe even a “Why me, Lord?” That I don’t count as cowardice. Cowardice is the person who walks away from a problem and doesn’t return until it’s all clear. Cowardice is the person who walks away while you’re in danger, but is more worried about their own safety than yours.
    Walking away from a fight is not necessarily cowardice. I have walked away from a few. I used to work with a nurse who loved to be insulting and rude to certain co-workers whom she deemed lower than herself. I would have loved to punch her in the face, but that would not have helped the problem. I left the job, not for cowardice but to protect my nursing license. She loved to lie and I did not want to lose my license over her lies. Some may see that as cowardice but I saw it as relief. That nurse is a character in one of my books. If she ever reads my novels, she’ll see that I knew things about her that she thought she had hidden well.
    In my neck of the woods the alliterative phrase is “fight or flight” but flee works too.

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