Brave: adjective. 1. Having or showing courage; intrepid. 2. Making fine display; elegant. - verb. braved, braving, 1. To meet with courage and fortitude. 2. To defy; challenge. - noun. 1. A man of courage. 2. A North American Indian warrior. (from the Italian bravo)
What is brave?
To climb mountains? To repel down again? To swim across a lake? To jump from a plane? To cross a gorge on a bridge of rope? To live alone on an island and survive? To drive a car at 130 miles per hour in the Indianapolis 500? To ski in the Rockies? To ride a kayak down the Colorado River? To hike in the desert? To run the Boston Marathon?
What is brave?
To serve in the military? Especially during war-time? To work triage at a metropolitan hospital? To drive the streets of Chicago in a police cruiser, keeping the peace? To fly helicopter for tourists who want to see a bird's eye view of the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Ground Zero?
I think bravery is living with courage. Raising children. Serving as a waitress. Staying married. Cleaning up after people in hotels, restaurants, streets, public places of all kinds.
I think bravery is living without complaining. Rising above and finding peace in the midst growing utility bills, fuel bills, mortgage payments, grocery bills, medical bills.
I think being brave is going to work every day even though you know all the money you earn will be gone within the week because you are supporting a family.
I think bravery is doing without to help someone else, pulling over to help the stranded motorist, picking up the fluttering receipt and calling to the lady who dropped it, helping the short person in the store isle, talking to the young man who just palmed the candy and offering to buy it for him, listening to the customer who complains every single time all the while smiling and nodding and praying.
Bravery isn't something you're born with. It's something you practice day in and day out. It's continuing the mind-numbing dreary work of dishes and laundry. It's helping your elderly mother more than you really want to (you want a life of your own without this specific responsibility) because you know there is no one else to do it.
Being brave is doing it all with a smile.
Being brave is having a song in your heart when you'd really like to curl up, hug a teddy bear and cry.
Being brave makes the world a better place.
Brave is an attitude.