“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
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.
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.
- How to overcome the agony of defeat (boston.com)
- Fifty great heroes: the brave, the gallant and the extraordinary (telegraph.co.uk)
- 23 children selected for bravery awards (thehindu.com)
- If by Rudyard Kipling (joshharris.com)