"Courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it"

Posted by Shami Chakrabarti on 16 November 2015

Once more the great European city of Paris is in mourning. And yet again, we all mourn the mass murder of innocents and the spiralling violence of a world gripped by fear.

The French authorities are no doubt right to look to the country’s security and there must be unity and cooperation amongst all democratic nations of our shrinking planet.

But that unity ultimately comes from shared values and security from the knowledge that whilst closed oppressive societies  breed hatred and barbarism, open reflective states built on rights, freedoms and the rule of law ultimately prevail.  

The French are a resilient people who have beaten cycles of violence many times before.

To quote Rene Cassin; a great French man and a founding father of international human rights:

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."