Kids Corner: T.A. Barron – “Countdown to a Meaningful Life” Week 2: Courage

Wisdom of MerlinReadLove joins T.A. Barron for a special blog series to celebrate the upcoming publication of The Wisdom of Merlin: 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life. This seven-week countdown campaign will be based on Merlin’s answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?”

Surprisingly, the answer has only seven words…but they are the most powerful words of all.

Join with us each week as we focus on one of these magical words with supporting content that will help us acknowledge, reflect, practice, and get inspired to embark on a new adventure or live life to its fullest.

For more inspiration visit or Like:

To read about the other Magical Words, please visit these posts:

First Magical Word: Gratitude

Third Magical Word: Knowledge

Fourth Magical Word: Wonder

Fifth Magical Word: Belief

Sixth Magical Word: Generosity

Seventh Magical Word: Hope

The Most Magical Word of All: Love

Second Magical Word:


Excerpt from The Wisdom of Merlin:

“Think of your life as a story—a story of which you are the author. Using whatever material you have and whatever inspiration you find, make it a story that truly belongs to you…make it the very best story you can.”

 “At the end of your days, what you’ll most regret is not what you tried and failed—but what you never tried at all.”

Quotes on Courage:

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”  Maya Angelou

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  Nelson Mandela

“From caring comes courage.” Lao Tzu

Movies that Demonstrate Courage for Young Children:

The Wizard of Oz


The Lion King

Some of ReadLove‘s Favorite Books with Courageous Characters:

The Hunger Games


The Ranger’s Apprentice Series

The Book Thief

The Lions of Little Rock

To Kill A Mockingbird

Activate, Engage, or Practice:

  • For the next week, read literature and news stories, or watch movies about tales of courage.

  • Every day, visualize your goal and take one small step toward it.

Dawn Teresa’s Thoughts on Courage:

Courage is a universally admired trait. Something we all wish we had in greater abundance, but something we tend to more quickly acknowledge or recognize in others than in ourselves. Why is this, I wonder? Why are we quick to count our flaws rather than name our strengths? Is it an excess of humility? Whatever the reason, today I pledge to see and trust in the courage that lies in my own heart. And I hope you, dear readers, will do the same!

Interestingly, the origins of the word courage come from Middle English, Old French, and Latin. All sources attribute courage to the heart. This is why we say “Take heart!” when we mean to encourage someone not to give up. This underscores T.A. Barron’s Merlin’s thinking. Merlin suggests seven words (of which courage is one) produce a meaningful life. Those seven words, he says, are driven by an eighth word, LOVE. In my own life, I’ve often seen love drive courage. I find it easier to be brave when acting in loyalty or defense of a friend or loved one than I do to fight my own battles. I think this is common, and that’s why it’s so important to remember that when you feel weak or frightened, you have friends who wait, ready and willing, to be courageous for you. Let’s also not forget to love ourselves. For, if we care tenderly for ourselves, we can draw upon those loving feelings to fuel our strength during times of hardship and challenge.

Readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please share in the comments below!


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