on being brave

Let’s be honest. Life is tough. Life is scary. There are so many challenges to face every single day that we can hardly keep up with all of them. Or at least we tell ourselves we are not nearly prepared enough for this rollercoaster that life is. I am aware that I am culturally biased and not really in a position to lament my being, as I am living quite comfortably in a rather rich and secure country. Hence, being brave can have so many variations in its significance as we are humans on this planet.

I bet everyone of us knows that situation in which you could have been a hero of some sort. It does not have to be the classical saving of a damsel in distress or the prevention of a robbery. All these are mostly figments of the imagination taken from books or movies. And believe me, I  have read my fair share of books and know all the fantasies you can possibly have about saving the world. However, imagination is still far from reality and often we are not brave enough to go through with any of our daunting plans.

Still, acts of bravery do not have to be big and gracious and in the name of others. Sometimes it is enough if they appear insignificant in every one else’s eye, yet are crucial for one’s own well-being. Sometimes it means asking the attractive store employee where to find ingredients you are looking for. Sometimes it means phoning a potential employer. Sometimes telling your family and friends what they mean to you. Sometimes, for a shy girl it can mean the world to gather up the courage to talk to a guy you are attracted to. Whatever it entails, taking risks always bears the potential of setbacks, failure or even humiliation. Sometimes it takes a few beers until you muster up the courage, sometimes it takes a few beers to forget the course of events. But in the end, most of the times, you are richer in experience. Next time you’ll be prepared. Next time you will know better what to expect. Next time you know better how to deal with this. Next time you won’t talk to him drunk when you don’t have much more to say than gibberish. I’ll be flawless and eloquent and witty. And I won’t need three hours until I am ready to approach him. But then again, next time it appears to be just as disheartening and the questions start racing through your head. Why does he not ever approach me? When maybe it takes him just as much courage as it does for you…

Being brave is not easy and cannot be learned. It takes consideration and courage in each and every new or old situation. But although one might not be able to see the reward instantly, it will surely come with time.

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