This week’s prompt: Tails – Brave
What does it mean to be brave?
Good question – what’s your answer?
Because I honestly don’t know and I have no clue if it applies to me.
Brave is a verb. And by being a verb, it implies action. As in, to face or endure with courage.
Well, face or endure … what?
Emergencies? Life situations? Big decisions? Beliefs?
All of the above?
Whenever I think of the word brave, I think of our military men and women who put their lives on the line in order to protect our country. I think of our emergency personnel who risk life-threatening situations in order to save us … from ourselves.
I think of our teachers who are brave enough to teach our unruly youth. I think of doctors and nurses who work to improve our way of life. I think of our blue-collar workers who aren’t afraid to step in and take care of the unsavory aspects of our lives.
I think of the brave artists who put their creative work out there for all to enjoy, or criticize.
And then … there’s me.
I am not brave. I am none of these heroic people I have just mentioned. I have never saved someone’s life. I have never done anything life changing. I have never been willing to put myself into an uncomfortable situation simply because it was a job that needed to be done.
I don’t even have the courage to send my creative work out into the publishing world.
I am actually a coward.
But perhaps I’m concentrating too much on the big picture. Perhaps being brave is about more than changing lives but rather, enduring the little, everyday challenges of life.
And if we can agree that living our lives to the best of our ability is a form of bravery, then perhaps there is hope for me yet.
I have braved several events in my life:
- Falling out of my car at the age of 19 and living with a two-inch scar on my forehead for all the world to see and question.
- Praying for my oldest son when he arrived eight weeks early, with no explanation and no warning.
- Losing my youngest son in Sears when he was three years old for 20 minutes and fearing that I would never see him again.
- Enduring the humiliation of being locked out of my own house and having to humble myself in front of strangers.
- Fighting for a marriage that I was all too willing to end because I wasn’t brave enough to face my own mistakes.
- Maintaining a brave face and stiff upper lip for my two small sons when a young girl plowed into us and totaled my van. (husband was out of town and we hitched a ride home with one of my co-workers).
- Trudging over and through numerous hurdles in order to earn a college degree.
- Facing my own mortality when we were flying home and the airplane’s landing gear malfunctioned.
- Crushing a Hercules beetle in my house (click if you dare) and keeping it from the boys so they wouldn’t freak out.
- Braving criticism and hostility by posting my religious beliefs on this blog.
All of these things seem so … unimportant and insignificant when compared to events that others have braved in their lifetimes.
But that’s okay, I’m grateful that my bravery has never truly been put to the test.