Think of the Top Ten bravest people in your daily life. Why do you consider them brave? What constitutes an act of bravery?
We can all point to clear examples of bravery: Malala Yousafzai, normal people stepping in when the Boston marathon bomb went off, the teachers at Sandy Hook, the fire-fighting heroes in West, Harvey Milk, Hillary Clinton & Ted Kennedy, police officers. The list is long and their accomplishments are amazing and awe-inspiring.
Great. What about you?
I’m one of the 10 bravest people I know. It’s not arrogance – I work for that title. I would love to hide in a cubicle, hide in my beautiful flat, hide with the people I already know well. Can’t do it. It isn’t brave. I make it my mission to be on my own top ten list. Things I am not on my own top ten list of include: fashionista, fabulous singer, fabulous writer, etc. Most of my readers know that I am a deeply-flawed gal; however, I am brave.
I fight like hell to be brave. I use my voice, my education, my website, and anything else I can utilize to fight things like poverty, injustice, and ignorance. I speak up for people suffering unjustly. I do not always get heard and rarely get things done exactly the way I want. Not the point.
Here’s the real kicker about bravery: sometimes you fall flat on your face. Sometimes you say words that are hard to say and the other person laughs at you. Sometimes you fight something and you lose the battle (but maybe not the war…go Hillary & Teddy, now we have Obamacare). Here’s the reverse kicker – nothing can diminish brave. Brave is too strong to be diminished by a “no.”
So, what do you decide? Safe walk or bravely blazing a trail?
Start thinking of yourself as brave. Did you start your own company this year? Did you admit to a big mistake? Did you write to a government official? Did you commit yourself to volunteer work? Did you lose 20 pounds? Did you use your website or FB status to really make a thoughtful statement promoting tolerance or education (Mike Mayes and Tony Barrese, y’all always inspire me)? Did you lose a loved one and make it through without becoming a crack addict? All those things might seem “small.” I assure you, there is bravery within each of them.
I’ve never ever seen on-the-spot bravery announced with glitter and rainbows. Not once. Bravery doesn’t look like much to most people, it’s something you do that makes you, sorry curse word-haters, scared shitless.
I just came from my sanctuary in Luzern where I heard something amazing, “Only deep inside of you can you hear who you really are.” There is a small voice inside of all of us calling us to be…brave. So, do it. If you need inspiration, I love this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwTr_CRw3GY What a fantastic message. “I just wanna see you be brave.” (Songwriters: BAREILLES, SARA / ANTONOFF, JACK Brave lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)
Anyone who has a story of bravery, I don’t care if you saved a child or an opera company or 50 bucks…whatever you think “brave” is, share your story somewhere. You can be a guest blogger for me. You can post it on my FB page (Before You). Post it on your own. Be bold.
Show me…how big your brave is. Follow this project at @BeforeYouBook