Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
> So I don't agree with Shakespeare's Falstaff. I think 500 years of
> timid adults jumped (with great ENTHUSIASM) on this well-crafted
> phrase - and have used it to justify their lack of courage.
>From Merriam-Webster (http://www.m-w.com/) ...
Main Entry: dis·cre·tion
Date: 14th century
1 : the quality of being discreet : CIRCUMSPECTION; especially :
reserve in speech
2 : ability to make responsible decisions
3 a : individual choice or judgment <left the decision to his
: power of free decision or latitude of choice within certain legal bounds
<reached the age of discretion>
4 : the result of separating or distinguishing
The meaning that I intended to imply is 3a and 4. Enthusiasm makes
available; discretion directs it or suppresses it. Discretion, in 3a,
be read as "To do or not to do; that is the question." Choosing to do
something daring, or even rash, may be the outcome.
> I'd much rather see someone brave and stupid, then someone who
> deliberates and deliberates and deliberates because he doesn't want
> to get hurt, or make a mistake.
As I said above, discretion does not have to mean that one wishes to
risk. To bring it back on-topic: eating raw meat is thought, by most,
extremely foolhardy; much deliberation went into making the decision
so, for me.