On courage

A little girl was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease because he had developed and antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother and asked him whether he was ready to transfer blood. He hesitated for only a moment, then took a deep breath and said, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will make my sister healthy.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in a bed next to his sister. He smiled as seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away? Please save my dear sister.”

Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

– Mark Twain