Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Brave


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.


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20 comments:

  1. I really like this fearless brave person that you are! You summed up just exactly what good parents hope for their children, and to continue on to their children as well. I also relate to that walking alone at such an early age from school, beginning in Kindergarten, and I remember being cautious enough to not accept a ride (even though it was the neighbor across the street) but we didn't really know them yet, and I just followed my instincts just like you said, even at age 5. This coffee chat (iced tea today) was fun!

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  2. I enjoy learning more about you.
    Would be nice if everyone met the challenge and just did the right thing.

    xoxo

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  3. I learned so much more about you today. You have led a very interesting life. Each thing that occurs in our life molds us and shapes our personalities and who we "become." I pray that you are happy with the person you are today. I think you are, and no matter how you got there, that's what is important. Hugs, Janet

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  4. Wow, you are a remarkable lady Annie. You are brave, no question about it.
    I love reading about your story and how it has shaped you to be the person you are.
    Today, if a kid did what you did, they probably would be in graver danger because values have changed so much. You stayed strong and kept your integrity as your guide.

    Have a great week.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  5. Being brave isn't easy, especially at night.

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  6. Looks to me like you are pretty brave...military enlistment, etc. My daughter used ROTC to pay for college then gave back 4 years. I think you have lots of internal power.

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  7. You may be one of the bravest people I know. :)
    And I love that your bravery is very much centred on doing the right thing. That often takes the most courage.
    I know about nights alone too. I used to worry as a young mother what I would do if a dangerous situation happened, and it was up to me to keep my 3 children safe because Left Brain was on the night shift. I still worry from time to time; but definitely feel more confident now. And we do safety drills with the kids, so hopefully they will have courage when required to.
    (in fact, I caught them trying to go out one of the bedroom windows once with blankets knotted..... rather poorly I might add. *eyeroll*

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  8. I always have the feeling that you are a calm and soothing person!

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  9. Thank you for sharing about yourself, McGuffy Ann. Doing the right thing isn't always easy. And sometimes being brave isn't easy, either. We think it's awesome that you do both. :)

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  10. Doing what is right no matter what, and getting done what needs to be done, is bravery in a high form. My hat is off to you!

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  11. Annie;

    on the flip side of the bravery coin; the bravest person I ever met was my grandmother...her mom died when she was 13; being the oldest girl, it became her responsibility to look after her 5 siblings, go to school, maintain a house and keep up a brave front. some few years later the depression hit along with the war; by now she had her own family, her brothers were all over seas in combat. my grandaprents maintained a living as best as they could, her and my grandfather working 40 plus, she putting on the brave front when the kids constantly asked...why...fast forward to a time when the children are grown and her husband is away, weeks at time; like you. she too was left alone; and living where many in today's society would "fear"..thru health issues with herself, her husband, deafness, and all things life tosses at each of us, her bravest face came the day she buried her son. I could live a 100 lifetimes and probably never be ..as brave... ♥

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  12. It sounds like you rose to whatever life has thrown at you with flying colors. I think some people are much better equipped to face life's challenges then others. I've never been one to try that many new things and often hold back but that's part of who I am as a person. Each of us conquers fears in our own way. - Oh I loved your illustration with the cat/lion.

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  13. Mommy sez this sounds like hers life. Well 'cept fur da pawt 'bout da military/ROTC. But da duin' da wight fing no matter what, and duin' fings cuz they gotta be dun, and ifin she dusn't do 'em they won't get dun. Mommy's been alone most of hers life, but she's always had a furry to go fwu life wiff her. Weez'll be purrayin' fur ya'.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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  14. I am not always brave.. :) But like you my childhood was not so great, but I did what I had to do. I like this post McGuffy.. doing the right thing is sometimes hard but you sound true to yourself and I think that is important.

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  15. I keep learning new things about you. I had no idea you were in ROTC or knew how to use an M16. I guess when you ride with Bill on the road you really are riding "shotgun".

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  16. Hi McGuffy,
    Thanks for sharing your points of view.
    I was in something comparable to ROTC and wasn't afraid of many things as a child, perhaps with the exception of snakes.
    In my adult years, I am hesitant to take big risks and I am disliking stress caused by lack of proper planning.
    Hope you have a great time with good friends/family/company always.
    Peace :)

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  17. Oh, you know I feel every word you wrote.

    xxoo

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  18. Doing the right thing (and I mean what is right to you) at all times, does or can take a certain bravery. And it seems that this is incorporated into your whole being, from early childhood on. I like that you had / have such an exploring nature, Annie. :)

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  19. I agree with Rory that doing the right thing take courage, and doing the right thing is clearly your motto in life. It would be a much better world if more people approached life that way! Living alone takes a great deal of courage when you have so much to handle on your own, so does dealing with all the medical issues you have had to cope with. Many days in life it takes courage just to get up and face another one, and you always do this with grace and determination!

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