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What is the opposite of courage?

by Torsten Daerr

Dear Friend,

What is the opposite of the word 'courage'? Well, you might think it's 'cowardice' and you would be right. However, when it comes to business, career and personal development, the opposite of 'courage' in most cases is 'conformity'. This means that the vast majority of people always look for a leader, somebody to show them what to do. For example, the fashion industry dictates to millions of people what clothes they need to wear if they want to be 'in'. The government tells us which political views you should develop and your boss determines how you have to do your job. And then of course there is your English teacher who explains grammar and vocabulary items to you and you do what she or he says because after all you want to learn English, don't you?

Now, if you are reading this email Friend, you are one of the few courageous people who can think and make decisions on their own. You are one of those who don't need to be told every single step they should take. You can think on your own and make decisions yourself. That's why you have been asking and answering questions on our forum sharing your experiences and ideas with other forum members and language coaches.

What's more, you have even realized that you can use our forum to practise and improve your speaking skills. If you look at all the people who are learning English as a second language, you will find that only a small portion of them move on their own initiative. The vast majority pay for English courses thereby putting themselves under psychological pressure. They use the following logic: 'Now that I have paid for this English course, I will attend it so my money won't be wasted'. The problem with this approach is that you are paying money for something you can get for free. There is nothing you can learn in a paid English class which you can't learn yourself. Since most people look at what other people do, they will never start using free resources such as our forum. But you Friend, are different. You don't conform and follow the majority.

You know that our forum is the only one worldwide that gives you the opportunity to record and share voice messages. This means you can get instant feedback on your pronunciation and intonation without having to go to an English class. All you need is a Java enabled web browser and a headset. If you want to find out how exactly the online voice recorder works, listen to this recording and respond with your own voice message: Speaking English for 20 seconds a day?

I look forward to hearing your voice.
Torsten Daerr

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