"You can't buy courage and decency, you can't rent a strong moral sense," Peggy Noonan once wrote in an essay honoring former president Ronald Reagan. But Peggy should know as well as any supply-sider that in America, everything's for sale. Just name your price.
The high-end strategy: You can rent former New York mayor and September 11 folk hero Rudolph Giuliani for somewhere north of $100,000 a pop. On a budget? Check out Frank Miles, a Las Vegas performer who, for some $10,000, will juggle, eat fire, and relate a near-death hang-gliding encounter to illuminate his presentation "Courage Every Day." (www.washspkrs.com)
Learn to be courageous: The Courage Institute offers all manner of training. For $15,000, become an official Courage Mentor (annual license renewal required). For a quick fix, consider the one- or two-day Courage to Act workshops, for $350 to $500. (www.courageinstitute.org)
How about a totem of courage earned by someone else? Turn to (what else?) eBay, where $58 got us "a great Iraqi Medal for Bravery . . . the Gulf War one version." Complete with an Arabic inscription and, on the back, an "ornat [sic] 'A' on the upper point of the star." A must-have for any plunderer's collection. Also available: U.S. military bronze stars and scores of World War II-era Medals of Honor. (www.ebay.com)
Inspiration. You need it. Art.com has it: 26 motivational posters depicting soaring eagles or weary firefighters with empty platitudes beneath a boldfaced C-O-U-R-A-G-E. (www.art.com) If that doesn't inspire you, nothing will — except, perhaps, the movie Patton, selling on Amazon.com for $11.24.
Liquid courage! There's always good old-fashioned whiskey, of course. Or try John Courage Ale, at $8.99 a six-pack. For a nonalcoholic alternative, SoBe offers its highly caffed Courage drink, a cherry-flavored shot of courage in a bottle. (Available at corner stores everywhere.)
A version of this article appeared in the September 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.