May 2013
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Fortitude

The word this week was suggested by a loyal follower of this Blog and it really resonated with me.

I don’t hear the word often and not clear about its meaning, I consulted my 1950 unabridged Webster as well as my Merriam-Webster (New Edition).  The definition of fortitude in my handy Merriam-Webster is, “strength of mind that enables one to meet danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.” A good, solid definition.

The meaning of fortitude in the unabridged Webster is very similar but expands by adding, “…to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring or depression or despondency, patient courage”.  This further definition certainly reflects the zeitgeist of the 1950s.  And perhaps accounts for why it is not often used in contemporary vocabulary.  Has fortitude  been replaced by pharmaceuticals and therapeutic processes?  Perhaps.

The root of the word fortitude is from the Latin fortis, which means ‘strong’, ‘powerful’.  Knowing the origin of a word deepens meaning.   To be courageous in the face of adversity requires strength.  To overcome adversity is empowering.

 

 

 

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