What Does it Mean to be Brave?

November 11, 2013 — 10 Comments

What does it mean to be brave?

Is it the strong warrior, brimming with valor and covered with armor, that rushes into battle?

Is it the masses who have gathered to topple injustice?

Is it the wavering pastor climbing to the pulpit, voice shaking with doubt and weary with exhaustion?

Is it the single mother who simply decides that she is going to do it One. More. Time?

Is it the bullied child who finally asks for help?

Is it the addict who goes back to the meeting?

What we need, now more than ever before, are stories and pictures of courage, because they fill us with hope. Last week, my wife sent me this video, and it wrecked me. What does it mean to be brave when you don’t know the outcome and when life isn’t getting any better? What does it mean to wrap our arms around each other and loudly declare that whatever else happens, we’re in this together?

It’s only 3 minutes long. Check it out:

(If you can’t see the above video in your reader, open up this link in your browser).

Let’s be brave together, friends. Let’s defy despair by playing and laughing and singing into our most terrifying moments. We cannot do this alone. Let’s spend our lives using the currency of joy. Then we’ll never be bankrupt, no matter what happens.

“Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask. Live at the empty heart of paradox. I’ll dance with you there – cheek to cheek.” 

– Rumi

10 responses to What Does it Mean to be Brave?

  1. Brave is a veteran who fought on the front lines of battle as a medic. Bravery is sadness because you couldn’t get to all the GIs that needed help. Brave is suffering in silence for a lifetime while slowly dying because of the agent orange. Brave is never complaining about the stupid war because you believe in patriotism. Brave is being married to a man who’s suffering from many afflictions and sitting with him in hospitals…night after night. My parents are brave.

  2. Thank you, Steve. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know that there are folks like you out there who do so much good in this world- and who invite us in by saying that we are in it together. Any burden seems less heavy knowing that we are not alone.

    PS- I must start remembering NOT to watch videos you post while at work! I have to get the volume up way too loud to cover the sniffling noises in here and I got suspicious water marks all over my papers… :)

  3. Thank you for showing up here over and over again, Steve. This morning I was feeling pretty bad for my toddler who has a throwing-up stomach virus, but I saw that video and just cried. Thank you for the reminder to be brave. There are lots of folks who have to be braver than I have to be today.

  4. I love many of your posts, including this one. Thank you for uplifting words.

  5. My son is leaving for the army this next weekend. You helped me through the time when his family visited churches that didn’t reach out to him. So, I thought your blog was great, because I have been led to pray for him to be brave and courageous. And in my tears for him, as I was praying, God told me that his was gifting me with the same: bravery and courage. Thank you for all you do.

  6. Thanks so much for this, Steve. I’ll be showing this video to my nursing students when we discuss pediatric cancer. It’s a really hard class to get through and we all usually cry (me too because it’s personal…I see names and faces when I teach each diagnosis). But the nurses and staff shown here are doing what I want to inspire my students to do…give hope and love and courage where there is suffering and fear and pain.

    Once again you’re shining a brilliant light and I thank you.

  7. Loved that, Steve. Nurses, doctors and others who comfort sick kids are true heroes. I don’t know how one goes to work every day and faces that reality, to say nothing of the brave kids who are on the receiving end of the care.

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  1. Happy Veteran's Day - November 11, 2013

    […] read an post today about what it means to be brave. Bravery is not exclusive to the military, but our soldiers […]

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