Delving into the Intangibles

   Crawling baby and La Traviata  

My grandson, Kenta, was crawling on the floor, and finally stood up with his hands on the wall and staggered a few steps. He fell, got up, fell again, and struggled repeatedly on his own. Finally, he hit his head on the corner of the chair and cried a lot, but he never gives up. Where does this courageous energy come from?  Is this the challenging spirit, even for a baby?

Courage is the energy we humans release to overcome adverse conditions such as headwinds, adversity, inconvenience, and scarcity, in order to climb out of them and seek out possibilities. In many stages in life, both children and adults have to face challenges courageously until the end of their lives.

Courage is one of the human assets that everyone has, regardless of age, sex or gender. By being willing to do what others are too anxious, afraid or shy to try, you not only get what you set out to do, but you also gain an intangible power: self-confidence.

In business, to be courageous enough to take on challenges is a very important quality required of a manager. This alone should attract a significant number of people as a leader. Courage is future-oriented. It pulls in positive attitudes such as not being afraid of failure, not caring about results, passionate and strong-willed to carry on.

Do you love opera? If so, how about the story of a young, pretty woman? (Monterivie Intangibles Seminar Textbook: A History of Women )

Mlle Marie Duplessis ( 1824-1847) is a woman who lived in a shady society, known in French as the demi-monde. She was a courtesan and mistress who consumed the Parisian high society. Before she died at the age of only 23, she left behind three names: Violetta in opera by Verdi, Marguerite in a novel by Dumas -fils, and Marie in real life, whose sepulcher in Montmartre is still visited by people with camellia flowers.

Knowing that she was going to die of tuberculosis, she absorbed, amid the harsh living conditions, the language, culture, behavior, and art, with courage and hard work. One year before her death, she even earned the title of “Contesse”. We applaud the courage of La Traviata who, despite such a handicap, continues to challenge herself courageously, and became a source of creative inspiration for artists.

A new revelation is that her last love was the pianist Liszt. Shortly before her death, Liszt had wanted to take a trip to Constantinople with Marie incognito, a woman of low status, but it never took place.

Verdi, the master of opera, brought a prostitute from the demi-monde to the stage. The great writer Dumas wrote of his experience with Marie, which must have been a courageous act for the time. Her hard work and courage helped her rise from her narrow shoulders and transform herself into a charming woman who won the hearts of the musician Liszt, the noble Count de Peregaux, and many other men. From laundress to grocer to high-class prostitute to countess, the end of life awaited the 23-year-old at the top of the staircase she had climbed in just eight years.

Marie's last words... how she had honed herself as an intellectual and an educated person, and the confidence that she had won over her audience, are reflected in her words.

-------Before I was educated, I was a “thing”. After I was cultivated, I became a “person”-------.

Courage is an intangible energy that we need to make use fully, seeking the possibility to overcome adversity, bad conditions, and so on.

  K.Yamakawa -Founder Feiler Japan       
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