Googling “Brave”

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“’What’s the bravest thing you ever did?’
He spat in the road a bloody phlegm. ‘Getting up this morning,’ he said.” 
― Cormac McCarthyThe Road


I logged on tonight with plan to write about the necessity of coffee; this morning… it was rough. I bumbled around the kitchen, trying to get coffee made as quickly as possible so I could make an honest attempt at the day.


This led me to thoughts of inventing a mechanism that allows someone to sip coffee while simultaneously showering. (Yes, I know I could have brought a travel coffee mug into the shower with me but, like any woman with a deep appreciation for scented cleansing items, the shower shelf space is already packed with bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body washes and three different types of kids soaps with names like Wacky Watermelon and Berry Blast.)


All this to say my intent was to write about coffee tonight.


But then I logged on and found a new post has dislodged my How to Say I’m Sorry” post for the day.  Brave Made Me Cry.


The number one search term for the day was “brave.”


This brought up my post on the animated movie and also the post Exposed Bravery.


What is it about bravery?!


I’m sure I’ve mentioned we’re reading through Little House on the Prairie at night with the girls. Tonight’s installment involved the chimney of the house catching fire.


While bits and pieces of burning wood flew through the air from the chimney of the Ingall’s little wooden cabin, Laura pulled her sisters Mary and Carrie away from the fireplace. It was a very brave thing to do, and beyond her years and strength.


In the book, Laura writes her mom complimented her after the fire was out for being brave but she felt silly because she didn’t think she had been brave as she had actually been very, very scared.


But isn’t that what bravery is all about? Action in the face of terror?


Don’t we all feel a bit silly at bravery because we know, despite how we act or look to others in the moment, we were actually scared to death?


Consider the adult child of divorced parents on their wedding day. That’s bravery as they commit to a shared future despite knowing how ugly a marriage can become.


How about the person who realizes they’re struggling with depression and chooses to reach for help, despite their embarrassment in having to deal with the condition at all? That’s bravery.


What about taking a stand for justice in the face of unpopular opinion? Or telling the truth when a “white lie” would be easier? Bravery, once again.


I’m not the most eloquent of writers, but I do know bravery is not a mythical state of being. It’s something we all possess, like a superhero sense.


It can be developed, like a muscle.


Here are thoughts from wiser minds than mine on the topic of bravery:

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it’s actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.”
― Christopher Paolini, Eragon

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. ”
― Erma Bombeck

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
― John Quincy Adams

“We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

“All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. ”
― Erma Bombeck


What can you choose to do, right now, that is brave?

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