Ernest Hemingway perhaps best defined courage as being “grace under pressure”, which suggests the idea that in a difficult situation, a person makes a well-judged, thought out decision that results in the best possible outcome.
However, has a spectrum all of its own in terms of ‘what is courage’.
However, they cannot be seen as courageous because of the lack of good motivation and value behind them.
Even if one's courageous action does not turn out to be effective, others will know that the right intentions existed.
For example, the terrorists involved with the September 11th tragedy were not considered to be courageous here in the United States. Nothing positive resulted from their actions, so the United States and her allies looked upon this as a cowardly action.
Courage is defined by the motivations and thoughts that exist within the action.
Rather, good intentions and motivations should fuel courageous actions.
As British author Samuel Johnson states, "Bravery has no place where it can avail nothing." In other words, courage or bravery is worthless and unnecessary if the final outcome cannot be beneficial.
If these do not exist, the value of courage is lost.
As with the terrorists and the two young men at Columbine, their actions did indeed require nerve.