Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines bravery as: the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty. Yet most people see bravery as soldiers sacrificing their lives for their country, or a stranger stepping in front of a bus to push someone to safety. While bravery exists in these heroic actions, it also extends far beyond what warrants a medal of honor.
“How do we become brave in our lives by doing things that scare us? Doing new things we’ve never done before or wrestling with our inner struggles instead of trying to ignore them?”
When Crissy approached me about writing this piece, I was both honored and terrified. What business do I have writing about something so powerful and important? I’m no hero, I’m not an influential person. I’m just another college student counting down the days until graduation. Who am I to write about bravery when so many others have survived far more in the 22 years I have existed?
Yet out of all of the people they could have chosen, they chose me, and I think it was for that exact reason. Bravery is not limited to heroism. Bravery is found every day, in every human. For some, bravery is standing up for something you believe in. For others, bravery is just standing to face another day. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you cannot compare the importance of your actions to others.
If we truly hope to be brave, we must be willing to do what frightens us, no matter how small it may be. Maybe that means putting pen to paper and acknowledging the thoughts rampaging through your head. Maybe that means taking a step towards self-care by quitting a job with an unhealthy environment. Maybe it means leaving the house for 10 minutes. Whatever it is, acknowledge the importance of that action for yourself, and know that in being an authentic human being, you are upholding one of the finest forms of bravery.
Story submitted by Katie.