More worthy of merit

Two people. The first is a consistent coward. Physically and intellectually. He has no skin in the game. He doesn’t take risks for what he believes in. He flees from uncertainty and fear. He takes credit for the good and allocates blame for the bad. When it comes to authority, he wields what he has brutally over others, but grovels at the feet of those who have more than him. His mind is small, and so is his spirit.

The other person is consistently courageous. Physically and intellectually. He takes risk for what he believes in. He embraces uncertainty and fear, using them as tools to help him make better decisions. He takes responsibility for his actions and their effects, for the good and bad, intended and unintended. As a leader, rather than centralising the benefit and distributing the blame, he distributes the benefit to all and centralises the blame on himself. When it comes to authority, he prefers to use wisdom, rather than power to accomplish his ends. And when he does wield power, it is in the service of the good and the true.

Now, considering the two portraits we have, one cowardly, one courageous, I’d like you to try answering this question. My answer to it changes on a daily basis. Here it is:

Which single act is more virtuous, more worthy of merit: the courageous individual who makes yet another courageous decision? Or the cowardly individually who overturns an established precedent of cowardice to do something brave?