StoryWorth asks, “What was one of the bravest things you’ve ever done, and what was the outcome?”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “brave” as: “1 (of a person) willing to do things that are difficult, dangerous or painful; not afraid . . . 2 (of an action) requiring or showing courage.“ (My emphasis.)
Human Life is difficult, dangerous, and painful! Human Life demands courage! I’m brave! So are you! Each day, each of us exercises extraordinary bravery! Unfortunately, doing so since birth, we don’t notice. We fail to give ourselves painfully earned credit!
Most would be hard-pressed to deny that human life involves suffering. How we manage suffering is crucial to ameliorating the pain in what Grandma Leslie called this, “veil of tears.”
Each morning, from the moment our eyes open and our feet hit the floor, we’re hoisted into a wheelchair, or remain amid an array of wires, tubes, monitors, and life-supporting gadgets, we exercise the bravery of a Warrior confronting hostile spears and arrows.
Switching metaphors, like a captain navigating her or his vessel over an uncharted sea, we trim the sails and grip the wheel. We skirt sandbars and treacherous reefs, weather hurricanes, and keep constant watch for Sea Serpents. With courage, luck, and masterful seamanship, most make it a safe harbor. Less favored but lucky sailors are rescued. Others watch the poop swallowed by the sea. A few give up and drown.
Survivors of capsized ships cling to broken-off spars. In homes, hospitals, and hospice, flotsam and jetsam of medical science keeps noses above water. Despite physical agony and terminal diagnoses, they fight for one more breath, one more heartbeat.