Thursday, March 13, 2014

What Does it Mean to be Brave?


I don't listen to the radio very often. But I did the other day. So it was the first time I heard this song. I almost switched the station, but the first line caught me, then the rest took me by storm and left me in tears. 





But maybe not in the way one might think. It actually made me think of all the empty words that we  "let fall out", and how much damage has been done by these words. I am no exception. I have stabbed others with words myself. I have forgotten too many times that shouted words often fall on shut-down ears and hurt hearts.

And it made me think about the real meaning of bravery. Those whose courage I admire. I'm not talking about stupidity - the kind of brave where you try to see how long you can hold your hand over a flame or teasing an alligator. 

I mean real bravery. 

The kind that most of us don't actually see because it takes place quietly in the shadows. Or after everyone else has left. Or when all eyes are busy looking at the glitter of the girl in the fancy outfit and miss the one who slaves every day for less pay than we spend on one fast food meal. Those that continue to walk out their door everyday into a world that misunderstands them and even hates them. Those who feel another's pain as their own. Those who speak for those who can't. Those who speak when others won't. And those who remain silent in order to protect.

They are brave.

The millions of mothers who never stop giving and rarely ask for anything in return. The amazing fathers who do the same. The grandparents raising grand-babies for any number of reasons. The foster families. The women who keep their babies instead of abort. The women who give their beloved babies up so those children may have a chance at a better life. The families that adopt. The women who love others' babies without the gift of having their own.

They are brave.

Anyone who takes something they have earned and gives it to those who need it more. Anyone who turns the other cheek, again.  Anyone who sincerely apologizes. Anyone who sincerely forgives.  Anyone who stands between a victim and the venom stemming from a bully's pain. Anyone who stands up and faces the individual(s) who stole dignity and innocence from them. People who tell the truth despite the pain and rejection. Those who remain awash in the wake of tragedy but keep struggling to reach the surface for the occasional gulp of air. And so many more.

That is what it means to be brave.

Running away is sometimes brave as well. A retreat that preserves life and dignity is no dishonor or weakness. And sometimes silence rather than "empty words" is the course of wisdom. Even the right words at the wrong time can be explosive. Hopefully these words I write prove to soothe rather than burn.






You never know how strong
you are until being strong is 
your only option


All of us will falter. All of us will cause others pain. All of us will have pain inflicted by others. All of us will get knocked down. 

It's the getting back up that matters the most.


It may be popular in Japan, but it is originally Hebrew.

"Let your words be anything but empty,
Why don't you tell them the truth?" 

These are important words, powerful and can be a force for good. But never forget, not everyone is deserving of our words, because some will only use them as weapons against us. So, may we all learn the more important skill...that of learning to listen. Even, and perhaps especially, when others are not saying a single word.


How big is our brave?

8 comments:

  1. Amazing post. I love the song too, it has really made me think. Thank you for sharing. #sharewithme

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, and your thoughtful comment!

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  2. You're right. Many of us over-use words and particularly don't stop to think what they mean. 'Brave' is one of those words. Genuine bravery takes a lot of inner courage, tenacity and perseverance, as you say. #sharewithme

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    1. Yes! "Genuine" is exactly the qualifier! Thank you for reading and sharing you thoughts!

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  3. WOW I have never heard of that song before as I mostly listen to country from the states but I loved it! Thank you so much for sharing it and you are too right it almost made me cry so true and with my own growing up and getting bullied. I can relate to people using words for a weapon instead of just saying things that they think. I agree too many over use a word that they are not really using the proper meaning to. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round! #sharewithme

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    1. Thank you for reading, Jenny! And I'm so sorry to hear that you were bullied! I distinctly remember being bullied as a kid as well, one of the worst feelings ever. But you did not let it stop you, and that is very Brave!
      And yes (!) i'm already linked up to Share With Me! And enjoying your blog too! I've even used several of your ideas, like the celery and carrot cars for our Back to School Science Party!

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  4. I couldn't agree more. Those with the loudest voices can often be the most scared. x x x

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    1. Yes, indeed, fear can speak loudly, but often not wisely. Thanks for reading!

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