Thursday, May 24, 2012

On bravery

Amelia Earhart

This last week, we went to Conrad's cousin's house for dinner, and I fell in love with their two-year-old Gavin. He's all boy. He loves animals and trucks and bikes and pasta and legos. And I helped bathe him and then I got him all riled up right before bed. We were all kind of marveling at how much fun Tess and Gavin have together. 

His mom Jessica was telling me how he reacts when he gets hurt. She told me about the last time he got a shot. The nurse put the needle in his little arm, and he looked at it, and he looked up at his mom, and his lip quivered and he said in a slightly defeated tone, "I'm brave." He does the same thing when he falls off his bike or bonks his head. 

His parents have taught him to be brave when he's scared or hurt. This is a quality that many adults don't possess. Many people go their whole lives without travelling or trying something new or overcoming a fear. 

Some people are naturally braver than others, and some are taught to be brave, and some are simply not brave.  There are different types of bravery, too. You can be brave like a soldier. You can be brave like a cancer-survivor. You can be brave like a single mother. 

I'm brave when it comes to travelling. I'll go anywhere. Really. Also, in a massive crisis, I'm very brave. I could help people out of a car accident, or calmly drive someone to the hospital, but little everyday braveries are harder for me. 

For example, I'm not brave when it comes to vulnerability. I don't like to work out alone, so if no one can go with me, I just don't go. That's my loss, not anyone else's. 

I have an extreme lack of bravery when it comes to going in the ocean. I get so scared that being in the beautiful sea is more of a terror than an activity of enjoyment. 

But part of fear is anticipation of pain, either mental or physical. If people new exactly what they were getting themselves into, they would never do anything. I bet Gavin would never have agreed to get shots if he knew he would have to be brave. 

I started thinking about the things I want to be braver at. 
Be braver with the ocean. 
Be strong enough to work out on my own.
Kill more spiders instead of making Conrad do it.
Don't be insecure about my projects. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!