Barbara Bonner has served as an art historian for museums, worked in philanthropy, and been a perennial student of contemplative traditions and yoga. She is also the author of Inspiring Generosity.

With verve and creativity, the author has come up with a dazzling collection of 130 of her favorite quotations on courage, 30 poems with courage as their central theme, and 13 stories of individuals who have lived out courage in one way or another. (See the excerpt for her definition of courage.)

Bonner is convinced that when we embody this virtue we are responding to our deepest selves, which may be unknown to us until, as poet John O'Donohue put it, we are tested and extend "a courageous hospitality towards what is difficult, painful, and unknown."

On these pages you will find a treasure trove of inspirational contributions from Amelia Earhart, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Marge Piercy, Georgia O'Keeffe, Mark Twain, Joseph Goldstein, Confucius, and many others. Here are a few examples:

  • "Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy.
    When you touch nonfear, you are free."
    — Thich Nhat Hanh
  • "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid."
    — Goethe
  • "Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
    — Winston Churchill