Question-Week ending Sunday 03/28/04:
In your opinion, which profession requires the MOST courageous individuals? Please read our Pre-Poll Commentary before taking this poll.
Our ninth keyword in our poll series on moods and emotions is COURAGE. For the purpose of this poll we will describe the meaning of COURAGE as "the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger or fear with confidence and resolution."
To begin with, we should differentiate the meaning of courage in children from courage in adults. Young children are usually extremely courageous, since they do not know what consequences might result from their actions. Whereas in adults, the more we think we KNOW or PERCEIVE about taking an action, the more we tend to WORRY about doing so. Thus we may perceive more danger than what really exists and have very little courage to move forward.
Courage is a direct by-product of confidence. As an example, if our soldiers feel that they were extremely well trained and had the best equipment, support and plan known to man - they would have more confidence in approaching a battle and thus more courage. Like most of the emotions and moods we have discussed thus far, we may find courage shares the same common thread to all positive emotions including: proper training to achieve high skill levels, preparedness from practice or life experiences, and proper planning. To obtain positive results, these same threads keep coming up.
To try to understand how training, skills, preparedness and planning can lead to more confidence and then courage, in this week's poll we'll examine six careers and see what you think about courageousness as they relate to these careers. This poll will end on Sunday 03/28/04, when the results will be displayed.
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- 35% of voters chose from our list "Fire Fighter" as the profession that requires the most courageous individuals
- 26% of voters chose from our list "Astronaut" as the profession that requires the most courageous individuals
- 15% of voters chose from our list "President of U.S." as the profession that requires the most courageous individuals " as the profession that requires the most courageous individuals
- 10% of voters chose from our list "NFL Quarterback" as the profession that requires the most courageous individuals
- 08% of voters chose from our list "NASCAR Driver" as the profession that requires the most courageous individuals
- 06% of voters chose from our list "Brain Surgeon" as the profession that requires the most courageous individuals
As discussed in the Pre-Poll Commentary, we were looking for how courage can be related to proper training to achieve high skill levels, preparedness from practice or life experiences, and proper planning. All of the professions in our poll require the above three ingredients. I left the military profession out of the poll because I felt that almost everyone would vote that to be a soldier is "the most" courageous profession there is. There's an enormous amount of training, preparedness and planning, followed by putting your life on the line for our country.
With the military missing from our list, Fire Fighters took first place. Who can ever forget the vivid pictures of those brave fire fighters in New York on 9/11, who gave their lives in an effort to save others? As prepared, well trained and skillful as they are, they always face the potential of tremendous danger everyday they report to work.
In second place we found astronauts. They train for years or even decades, in preparation to their big mission. However, their destiny lies in the hands of all the engineers, designers, and support crew on the ground - to dot every "i" and cross every "t" to make their mission a success.
We found substantially less votes for the other four professions on our list; however no one can say that it doesn't take tremendous courage to perform in their respective jobs.
To summarize this poll on courage, I think that all jobs require more of a degree of courage than we seem to give credit for. In the uncertain and potentially dangerous world that we live in, people who work in high rise buildings, power plants and railways - face new dangers that have become a part of modern societies in our world. It's up to all of us to do our jobs in the most efficient and conscientious manner possible, while always being vigilant and responsive to the safety and needs of one another.