25 November 2012


This week's installment of my quest to delve into the human psyche and behaviour, has been a bit of a struggle. I wasn't sure what to pick; should it be Babies, Bullying, or Breakups? I wanted something a little inspiring and positive. So after a lot of indecision, I decided to go with Bravery.

B is for Bravery

When I'm reading, I love the moments where one character nobly sacrifices themselves for another in a grand display of selflessness, fearlessness and love. I can't help but weep at their courage in the face of danger and even death.

Unfortunately I couldn't think of any times I'd seen someone in London do anything remotely brave like this. Rude, obnoxious, selfish - yes. But not brave. And then earlier this week, we were talking in work about violence in the city and some of the awful things that have happened to people on London transport. Then out of the blue, one work colleague talked very openly and candidly about how she had been raped many years ago. I was both shocked and on the verge of tears as she told us that no one would stop to help her after the crime. However she spoke with pride of joining other women in court to help give evidence and put the attackers behind bars. Since that time, she said she made sure she stood for other people when they were in trouble. Her honesty made me appreciate that she hadn't let her attackers torment her after the crime; she didn't feel sorry for herself or and let them keep her down. Instead she picked herself up, got on with her life, and became even more determined to prevent others from suffering at the hands of violence.

Since hearing this story, I've realised that bravery isn't always something you can see. Sometimes bravery is just getting up in the morning and getting on with your life without self pity. But with a fierce determination.

When I think of bravery in books, Neville Longbottom jumps out at me. I still get goosebumps and shivers when I think of Neville in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and how he stood up to Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. At the risk of losing his friends, he did what he thought was right. It was such a small action, but there so much more behind it: the courage and determination of a rather shy young boy. This small action of Neville's even had a pivotal role in the house competition at the end of the story, showing us just how much little acts of courage can make a big difference.
"There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
Bravery doesn't have to be something big or grand. It doesn't have to be life-saving. It can be something small, something you believe in. But it should have meaning to the reader, and to you.

What does bravery mean to you?


Fay_C said...

What a great post - I was on the verge of tears just reading a snapshot of your work colleagues story. However instead of saying aww that is so sad I have to say well done to her for pushing through the wall that could have kept her back from living her life to the fullest and making things better for others. Such a great example of bravery. To me I guess bravery in many respects is being able to stand for what you believe in no matter what and no matter who states your opinions and thoughts are wrong. There are many examples of this and most are just the little things that happen in our daily lives.
Once again great post. :D

Jamie Gibbs said...

Great points :) I think that was the point where Neville started to transform into a badass :P

Kudos to your friend for her bravery after that terrible incident too; I consider myself to be a bit of a coward so I don't think I'd be as brave in a similar situation.


Jo said...

This is such a fantastic post, and so inspiring! Thanks, Hannah!