Today I am joining Rory Bore for her Coffee Chat. This week we are discussing bravery, "What is bravery to us, and are we brave?".
Not having a good childhood, I learned to be brave very early in life. In fact, it really was never an issue. As early as I can remember I just did what I needed to do. Never tolerating weakness in myself, I saw myself as strong. I was never impetuous or foolish. I just looked at situations and did what I felt was appropriate, being careful in the execution of my plans.
As a child, I was always fearless, simply because I had to be. Some situations did put me in danger not of my choosing, but rather merely life situations. I walked alone to and from school both in the city and country, without a thought regarding the dangers that could involve. I was a latchkey kid from a very early age. I didn’t consider myself brave, but rather responsible. There were scary situations, but I learned that what didn’t kill me made me stronger.
For fun, I climbed trees, waded in bayous with snakes and unknown creatures. I rode bicycles through all kinds of wild terrain, both urban and rural. I trapped and handled all kinds of critters, domestic and wild. I did whatever I could to experience everything that I could. I sought the good things in life and embraced them. I figured, “what didn’t kill me make me stronger”. I was fearless, but never considered it bravery.
As I got older, I continued this approach to life. I joined ROTC, being one of the first girls allowed in the Unit. First as Public Relations Officer I represented our (now co-ed) Unit, speaking to a variety of large groups of people (of various ages). I joined Color Guard and Flag Detail, leading both and performing publicly. I joined Drill Team, learning to handle an M16 rifle. Later I was the second highest in command of our Unit, leading over one hundred cadets. I wanted to make a difference. Again, I was fearless but never considered myself brave. I just did what I felt was right.
Leaving school, I knew I needed to do certain things to live a decent life. Sometimes choices were appropriate for me, but unpopular with some people. I guess it takes a certain amount of bravery to achieve what is right for oneself, but I never looked at it that way. I followed my conscience. I never thought about bravery; I did what I felt was the right thing.
At this point in my life, I still face life situations that challenge me. I am often alone, day and night. Needless to say, night can be unsettling when alone. It can present situations that test bravery. I must do things that need to be done regardless of fear, so I do not think about that. I do my best.
I do not think about my own personal bravery. I never have. I think about doing the right thing. I think about doing my best. I guess that takes a certain level of bravery, but for me it is business as usual.