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.
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?