ON BRAVERY

Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and stepping out anyway.


What is that makes one brave? Many define bravery as a trait that seems to be only perceivable from the outside. It is as though when one turns inwards there is no way he could think of it.It is as though a restriction existed on that adjective to be used as in self-descriptions.

Did we cease to see bravery as a quality at some point? Did our society condition us to assume that all paths were predestined to be filled with sorrows and suffering? Did we thus get accustomed to the idea that a human being is inherently a warrior, designed to overcome life’s harshest obstacles? A concept that would also happen to be the explanation behind the fight or flight response.

We have come to deprecate the value of courage as if it were one that most people own. Yet, truth is, although anyone can acquire it, one is not magically born with it. Perhaps, to find courage, as we phrase it, is the only approach to cope with unendurable experiences.

Oftentimes, we hear the recurrent line of thought in the testimony of individuals who have triumphed over the greatest hardships: ‘I did not choose to be this way, to keep going, I simply had to, it was my only chance of survival and I just perceived it as living.’ Strength of character does not arise overnight. It mainly requires heaps of efforts and every so often painstaking actions.

BCN, May 2020, GC

One is more likely to hide behind all of his strengths than publicly acknowledging his former battles and showing off.It is almost as though we carried a sense of shame if our past victories were painlessly confessed. Years ago, believing that the attention-seeking aspect prevailed most of the time, I used to be continuously suspicious of people who were, for instance, openly dwelling upon their personal troubles in the media. Perhaps this was merely the result of a very long time of bottling feelings up and not being able to confess my own issues.

I came to the realization that not everyone has to deal with the same problems. Everyone will someday encounter the same amount of pain than his peers but, for now, one may have no clue what this affliction means. And this is fine. Life is not linear as some like to consider it. As the French say, la roue tourne.

Perhaps this is the reason why courage can only be gained. At some point in our life, we all should get to proclaim ourselves ‘brave’ and we shall accept the label without guilt or embarrassment. Nevertheless, some beings still encounter courage more often than others and it becomes a practice – a ritual, a faith, a way of life. The only way.A part of their mind, body and soul.

Then, we warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know that the Universe is conspiring in our favor even though we may not understand how. 

Paulo Coelho


And sometimes, bravery is the countless other things that we tend not to ponder on.

Bravery is believing despite all the bumps encountered on the road. Bravery is hoping beyond belief. It is constant perseverance. It is confronting fear, be it knowingly or not. Bravery is accepting to be honest and therefore vulnerable no matter what. Bravery is being yourself in all circumstances. It is remaining a genuine being at all times. Bravery is moving on, going forward, through thick and thin. It is catching the last beam of light in the darkness. And at times, being brave merely means being aware, in the bleakest moment,that you have held on thus far and realizing how brave you are.

what makes you brave?

La vie ne vaut rien (reprise). Tim Dup.