Pure Goldwater BookWhat makes a courageous man (or woman)?

One of the aspects of a courageous man (or woman) is the willingness to speak up when it’s dangerous. To stick one’s neck out and risk it all by speaking the truth.

I am currently reading a book by John Dean and Barry Goldwater, Jr. about the latter’s dad, former Senator and 1964 Presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater. Pure Goldwater is a collection of his journal entries that gives the reader incredible access to the inner mind of a successful businessman and public servant.

Two of his entries stood about above all others. One is below. I will share the other soon.


“That is something neither of you should ever be afraid to do: say what you think if you think what you believe is right. You will never succeed telling the other fellow what he wants to hear, even if speaking your thoughts might get you some criticism, it will get you far more praise. A courageous man is respected not so much for his thoughts or his actions but for this courage in presenting his thoughts and doing his job.”
~Barry Goldwater, to his sons in a journal entry dated March 16, 1940


Question: Do you sometimes find it hard to find the courage to speak the truth when you know there could be consequences? How have you overcome the fear?

8 thoughts on “A Courageous Man | Barry Goldwater

  1. Rich Weekly says:

    For me it was boldness over time. Most important we grow, study and apply Gods word. We understand His truth and a plan for our life. Understanding His Grace and Mercy more as I grow older helps me to not fear speaking up knowing some may not accept the message.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Beautifully written Rich.

    2. Katherine Leicester says:

      Agreed, a beautiful and helpful comment, Rich.

  2. Katherine Leicester says:

    The Holy Spirit routinely makes it very clear when I am to say or so something, which routinely takes me into the area of discomfort. But Chris Hogan said it best at counselor training when he said “we aren’t meant to be comfortable, we are called to be effective.”

    Terrific post again today, Matt.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Great quote from Chris. Bam!

      1. Katherine Leicester says:

        After awhile I gave up trying to write down all the memorable Chris quotes in class. Thank goodness for audio recordings, where I can listen and write at leisure!

  3. Jana Botkin says:

    I find it a bigger challenge to be quiet when I want to speak truth but the timing is off,

  4. Jon Stolpe says:

    I’m grateful that I haven’t felt this pressure too often. As a manager and leader, it’s my responsibility to speak up when something is wrong or is headed in the wrong direction. This can be most challenging at times when it applies to my team members. I am doing them and the company a disservice when I fail to address these kinds of issues and decisions.

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