People carry portraits of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin, with words reading ' he died for the future of Russia!' in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
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The film left me thinking about the diminished role of heroism and courage in modern life, and also about the fate of Russia.Heroism is a product of extreme situations -- classically, involving war and violence.Unlike heroism, courage isn't necessarily tragic.Moral courage, as distinct from physical courage, is a civic rather than a military virtue. Moral courage has always been less admired than physical courage, because it involves going against the grain.From an ethical perspective, moral courage has been considered the highest form of courage in the liberal age, because it is deliberate, not instinctive. Heroism and courage have always been regarded as masculine virtues.The huge reservoir of largely untapped courage, especially of the moral sort, that women constitute, has been generally ignored by (male) writers. Women are thus compensating for the decline in male courage in public life, something that many men find deeply uncomfortable.
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