I’ve been thinking a lot about how bravery looks in my life and in the lives of the people around me. It’s such an empowering word, courageous, fearless, bold, no wonder we see it as such an admirable quality in people. But bravery seems to me to be so much more than that.
Close your eyes for a moment and think of the people in your life who you think of as brave. I bet there are a lot and I bet there are a lot of reasons why. We are lucky to have such inspiring people in our lives; to love, cherish and respect.
Their bravery probably takes many forms, sometimes huge demon slaying daring and sometimes fairy steps to battle smaller ghosts. But no matter what mountain those brave people are scaling they share a common trait. They are approaching challenge or chasing challenge with action and tenacity, they are not quitters.
The personal circumstances life throws at us are often beyond our control, illness, loss, despair, and it is out of these events or tragedies that we see remarkable bravery occur in the people around us. When we think on our friends and family who are dealing with these things we admire their dignity in coping with things they did not want or imagine happening in their lives.
You may have thought of other brave people in your life as the ones who seek out and take on the new and unexpected or those who leave the safe for the unknown. Sometimes the bravery we see in them seems easy but it’s probably not. To do anything outside our comfort zone is hard, which is why most of us don’t do it, and why we recognize the bravery in those that do.
You may have seen bravery in the people you know who challenge the status quo, who follow and act on ideals and values which make our world a better place. Swimming against the tide is hard but the brave people we know who do this have overcome fear to champion their causes.
We can see how the bravery of those we know is replicated on the wider human stage. Charities, laws, health care, social and political voice have all risen from the daily acts of bravery of ordinary people. They are living unexceptional lives but doing exceptional things.
I wonder if you thought about yourself when you were thinking of the brave people in your life? Chances are you are coping with and daily facing something which demands you to be strong. It may be small compared to someone else’s mountain but it still needs you to try, so be kind to yourself if you’re facing your fears.
Bravery has many romantic connotations but we mustn’t romanticize it, most very brave people are not immortalized as heroes and heroines. Often unexpected circumstances are the catalyst and it takes a great deal of strength to venture into the unknown. Bravery is thought and it is action, forced on us or chosen, it is responding to life’s bombshells actively and with self determination.