When I became one of Jerry D’s Patreon supporters, I received a rubber bracelet with WWJerryD printed on it, along with a reminder to “Be Brave…” What does it mean to Be Brave? If we’re going for a dictionary definition, then “brave” means “Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.”
It’s easy to say the words “Be Brave,” but actually putting those words into action is a totally different story. If we were to take the definition at face value, we would think that bravery starts with the willingness to face any uncomfortable situation. But I’d argue that bravery starts before the willingness to face the situation. Bravery begins with a mindset.
We’ve all been in an uncomfortable situation that was detrimental to our well-being. On the extreme end, let’s look at domestic violence: the victim often endures a great amount of abuse until they’ve finally had enough and can endure no more. It’s after reaching this point that their mindset changes and bravery takes over. They muster the bravery to remove themselves from the dangerous situation. They now have the mindset to endure the possible dangers they may face by leaving. The benefits of getting out of the situation far outweigh the danger.
As a society, we now live in the most volatile time since the Civil Rights Movement. Protests are taking place all over the country. People are starting to stand up to their elected leaders. They are showing the courage to go against the status quo; to swim against the stream. “Be Brave…” means putting up the fight of your life, taking risks and enduring that which seems impossible. It means pushing all fear and anxiety aside and standing for what you believe. We see this bravery throughout the LGBT community as they continue to fight for equality and their right to marry the person they love.
Recently, hundreds of thousands of women converged on Washington DC for a protest march. These brave women stood against a president that, by his words and actions, has shown his disfavor for women. These brave women stood up to show their strength and solidarity. This action is the epitome of being brave.
What does “Be Brave…” mean to you?