Courage (勇气 – Yong3 Qi4)


The characters for ‘courage’ within the written Chinese language are ‘勇气 – Yong3 Qi4’. The left-hand character ‘勇’ (yong3) is comprised of the signific particle ‘力’ (li4) meaning ‘strength’, superimposed over the phonetic particle ‘甬’ (dong4), which means ‘bell’. As a bell ‘measures’ time, the ideogram ‘勇’ (yong3) refers to a ‘measured strength’, and carries the associated meanings of brave, courageous, bold, valiant, intrepid, fearless, a soldier, a conscript, bravery and courage. The right-hand character is ‘气’ (qi4) which denotes inner and outer strength. This ideogram in its older version (氣) depicts rice cooking in a cauldron of boiling water. The steam from the pot builds pressure and the cauldron lid is lifted and dropped as a consequence. When someone has ‘courage’, their ‘measured strength’ is full of ‘inner power’ that is virtuous, correct, and upright.

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