My daughter asked me in a Facebook message on December 19, 2010, to write out a list of “How I Am Brave” but I am not sure I am brave at all. I think the above definition is more the way I continue to survive life.
Perhaps of course Valerie was openly referring to the Webster Dictionary definition: having or showing courage. What Valerie really wants from me is a list about my life that shows how I am bold, faithful, courageous, fearless, gallant, gutsy, heroic, stalwart, valiant, and undaunted. But am I?
Perhaps she wants a list of my perceived personal strengths: Perspective, curiosity, creativity, persistent, integrity, loving, kind, forgiving, common sense, or appreciation. But am I?
Or – perhaps – maybe – she wants a record of how I have not killed myself even though racked with annually – monthly – daily – hourly – instantly – excruciating anxiety and fear that was born and nurtured from birth? But is this bravery?
Can a person who breaths a thousand styles of FEAR really know bravery – too emotionally ugly – scared – to quit – Would this be substantial bravery?
Does a brave person consider death – Is death bravery?
Death is merely a separation.
Death is freedom from vulnerability.
Death is to say goodbye to eternal pain.
Death is the ultimate unwrapping of a final Christmas gift.
Death is conclusive serenity.
Death is the start of true life.
Does a brave person –
Cry alone at night?
Take pleasure in lucid nightmares every time they close their eyes?
Delight in mystified day-mares every time their closed eyes open?
Fear life with terror and trepidation every step they walk?
Weep alone in secret even in a crowd?
Live with arousing mental leprosy?
Face their unrequested existence in the fog of rational uncertainty?
Ever regard the moment “friends” will show their true depth of repulsion?
Is bravery –
Being too terrified to flee?
Being too angry to fight?
Being too panicky to be horrified?
Being too skeptical to trust?
Is life bravery or is bravery a social adjective for being too scared to be stupid?
Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona: December 20, 2010