Bravery Comes In Many Forms
Bravery appears in many forms. There’s the astonishing, selfless bravery people like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela displayed when the world was trying to convince them they were wrong. Then there’s the personal bravery of people like Malala Yousafzai after being shot for simply going to school.
For me, though, remarkably powerful is one’s own bravery in the face of personal conflict.
Bravery in being honest with a friend or family member when it’s the last thing they want to hear, but the thing they most need to hear is a selfless example of this. As is overcoming our own fears when confronting a serious life issue; saying yes to something when your whole being is screaming ‘no’ at you, or equally, saying no to something when we’re programmed to say yes all the time.
Challenging ourselves to change our modus operandi can be a daunting prospect and it’s one many of us fail to apply in everyday life… but I think it’s where the value in life resides.
I have a wonderful friend in Germany who is exceptionally honest with people. Does that win her thanks most of the time? No. But her honesty is truly brave because (and usually only much later) does the recipient find that that honesty was so valuable at the time it was given. And she risks alienating herself by doing what’s right, rather than what’s safe.
Strength of this kind is selfless. It’s a great gift to both society and friendships. But what’s more, it’s hugely appreciated in the long run. If you have a friend like this, you’ll know they’re the first person you run to for a truly honest appraisal of whatever it is that you’re finding challenging.
I wish you the strength to challenge your usual course of action and be honest with what you think’s right, rather than what you feel is expected of you. In the long run, I feel honesty over safety is the most rewarding gift we can bestow and it’s the most beneficial for society… especially when delivered with compassion.