What it Means to be Brave

Remembrance Day is officially recognised as a special day in commonwealth countries for war remembrances and is held in honour of those in the armed forces who died in the line of duty. Until the human race can live in peace, I know that although I may not agree with war, I can respect and honour those that died in the hope of freedom and a better future.

Last week I was on Skype to my sister back in the UK and although I am generally a positive person, I was complaining to her about life. I’m talking rant overdrive. After listening attentively as she does, she smiled and told me how lucky I am. Lucky that the minor things I was complaining about were the ‘issues’ I face. These trivial and fleeting problems, which aren’t really problems at all are what I deal with in my life.

She then sent me some links to stories about war veterans, some of whom were younger than me when they were catapulted into a war that would change the course of history forever. Where they would face adversity and deadly situations everyday. It’s strange to write it, yet know that I can never comprehend such fear in my safe life. Not only did these brave men and women in these wars know fear, they faced it in the fight for freedom. We can safely say they were brave.

Hopefully I and everyone reading this will never have to be brave in such a way and in such situations. So what does it mean to be brave in our lives? Bravery to me is trying even when giving up would be the easier path. In that sense I think I can be brave.

Being brave is a choice we are lucky enough to have the freedom to make knowing that it most likely won’t end in a life threatening situation. Being brave for once person can mean doing something which comes so easily to another. For instance being brave for my mother who has bipolar and has not left her house in almost a year, would be opening her front door and walking through it. Something so simple to most people. Or for a child at school who wears different clothes to her peers because she is fighting to be herself may also face adversity. That to me is bravery.

Bravery does not have one face. It can take all different shapes and forms but I think we honour those in the past who fought and died for our freedom by TRYING to be brave in our daily lives, whatever that may be to you.

In Flanders fields                                                                                                                      Written during the First World War by Canadian physician John McCrae.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

lest we forget poppies


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