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Bravery: If You Can…

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“Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” Charles Dickens

Bravery demands both our individual and collective effort...Image via Brent Stirton, NatGeo

What is bravery or the bravest act? It’s far easier to think of great acts when we think of the word – Bravery. Yet, consider the bravery in small things. The decision to face the world daily and do the right and moral thing; to face our enemies and our friends and carry on our goals with expectation of a fruitful outcome; to fall down and hope that when we get up someone reaches out to help…. that demands bravery.

If we can face the daily wrenching call of our vices and brush them off so we can honor our promises and goals, we are brave. If we can reach out to help another, to caution a misguided friend, to chastise a flippant opponent, we are brave. If we can look hatred, prejudice, injustice and pettiness in the eye; albeit through the eyes of those we love or abhor, and challenge it, we are brave.

We can find ways to be brave and it begins with small things… Give generously; give to the panhandler on the street or on the train, a kind word and your money … even as others turn their faces and walk away. That is brave.
Below, I have added a poem by Rudyard Kipling… If you read it through and remember to follow his guidance; that is brave.
Enjoy! 🙂

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: Hold on;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

What does bravery mean to you? What is your smallest daily act of bravery? I’d love to hear from you… Leave me a comment and I’ll reciprocate. Do share!
Positive Motivation Tip: Bravery begins with incremental small acts; being conscious of others and ourselves.

PHOTO CREDITS: Malian Philosopher Ismael Diadie Haidara by Brent Stirton via National Geographic

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 19/01/2011 1:28 am

    I remember this poem – it’s been ages since I’ve read it! Thanks for featuring it in your post.

    • 19/01/2011 3:15 am

      Thank you for reading it… I remember it too from my early school years. i always love the cadence of the poem… If You can… was always a favorite line. 🙂
      Thank you,

  2. 19/01/2011 2:28 am

    “Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” Charles Dickens – well, Mr. Dickens had the phone, but nowadays we have the world wide web: and I am glad, that electricity can be used in that creative way! So I am glad to have both.

    • 19/01/2011 3:21 am

      It is remarkable that he wrote that quote as if he were in the 21st century… We are beneficiaries of the maxed out, plugged in gadget gluts… I’d love to have a conversation instead of a laptop. 😉

  3. 19/01/2011 9:41 am

    Thank you Elizabeth for another wonderful post! Yes…one of my favorite poems as well.
    I think we do get something “more” from face-to-face as opposed to on-the-web…however, there is Skype, so perhaps we can have both at the same time. 🙂
    It seems to me that bravery can be quite different depending on your personality and who you are…for someone who is “painfully shy” just walking into a room with strangers can be a show of bravery, while for others it is what they look forward to and love to do. 🙂

  4. 19/01/2011 11:15 am

    Bravery. At the moment I feel bravery is embodied by Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords husband. Not for the reasons he’s most often been considered brave, being an astronaut and captaining the space shuttle, but for openly displaying his love and devotion to his wife and the innocent victims of a national tragedy. That’s bravery we can all emulate.
    Thanks for the post!

  5. 19/01/2011 11:57 am

    Oh Girl! You’ve done it again! You took me way back! I can remember where I was when I first read that poem like it was just yesterday. What does bravery mean to me? The act of selflessness. Great post!

  6. 19/01/2011 12:32 pm

    This quote gave me chills. Thank you. 🙂

  7. 19/01/2011 12:36 pm

    Elizabeth, this was such an inspirational post for me! It is so easy to be consumed with ones own problems and fears- true bravery is looking past my own self and really being there for other people! Thanks so much E!!!

  8. Bree permalink
    19/01/2011 4:27 pm

    I remember that poem so well… It gave me courage in my teens and I am gd for it.
    This is a great post. I love these pithy one; short, powerful, and blessed

  9. 19/01/2011 10:34 pm

    Oh, I love the poem! Bravery, I feel, is one of the hardest virtues to have but one that can be so effective to many.

  10. Goz permalink
    20/01/2011 4:32 am

    Brilliant post! As a matter of fact, are we able to express bravery in the big things…on the important occasions if we neglect to do so in the little things? I doubt it very much… This was gourmet food for thought! Thank you! …for me, bravery is standing up for Truth always, no matter how inconveniencing, embarrassing or whatever else.

  11. 04/01/2012 4:51 pm

    Love the motivational site! Some of us have also started a motivational site built around the poem “If!” Would it be possible for you to link to our site underneath the poem or somewhere else on your blog? Thanks! Susan


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