In life there are many terms that are relative to individual cultures. That means that the definition is different depending on the culture's location and peoples beliefe. The words that make courage a relative term are danger and opposition.
The definitions of those words are what determine if a person or an act is considered to be courageous or cowardice. Those labels change from society to society because people possess varying ideas as to what is danger and opposition means. For example, there are many types of people who encounter danger regularly like police, firefighters, cultural tribes, religious groups, teachers, doctors and nurses, criminals, and everyday people. Contrasting the difference in the type of danger encountered by each group shows what makes courage different.
The difference between the danger for the police and the danger for the criminals is that one is done without a valid reason. The danger for the criminals is created by themselves and therefore even though they encounter danger it is not courageous. It on the other hand is either foolhardy or cowardice. Actions like killing sprees or random slashing are considered foolhardy because the persons responsible are taking unnecessary risk. These actions can also be considered to be cowardice because the people responsible are generally either unwilling to face the consequences for their actions or unwilling to face the underlying reasons for their bursts of violence. In my mind and most other westernized cultured people minds, I am correct because criminal acts are not generally accepted nor rewarded in our society.
And there for there are a lot of different meanings for courage.