The Brave One

Linking the previous article from the site called “The Brave Girls Club” had me thinking about Jodie Foster in “The Brave One“. Fantastic movie full of raw emotion and un-pretty moments. There was no happy ending as the main character suffers an enormous loss at the beginning of the movie. And we, as viewers, know that this is her new reality. All she can do is find peace in the only way she knows how. Peace here comes in the form of vengeance, though we are left knowing all is not made right. Her world is still shattered. Justice may have been a guest, but there is still one missing from the dinner table.

Webster defines “Brave” as “having or showing courage”, and “Courage” as  “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty”

Jodie’s character was brave. Of that we can be certain. What of us? If it had happened to me, would I have been brave? Hard to tell, since it hasn’t happened to me. I cannot presume to know the mindset of someone who has had the misfortune of living through that. Am I then capable of being brave without the catalyst of misfortune? Thucydides writes that “the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet not withstanding, go out to meet it”.  Can I be brave in pursuits of what is before me, regardless if they are glorious or dangerous? Can a child be brave, pursuing her dreams? Can a woman be brave in her everyday life? In the daily shuffle of kids, work and husbands..how can a woman be brave? Can you be brave in the absence of danger? I think, maybe. There may not be a monster under the bed, but daily there are choices we make. And sometimes it takes courage to make the right ones. Sometimes it takes bravery to stand up for those choices. Or to go against what you have been taught, to forge your own way, to find your own answers. Sometimes it takes bravery to be still where you are for a moment. To endure your present reality, until the time is right to step out.

Nelson Mandela says “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Bravery…courage…isn’t always in the physical, headline-grabbing moments of our lives. It is most often our daily overcoming of whatever is before us: fear, insanity, mediocrity…

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