- Do you remember the first time you wondered if you would be brave enough to take an action you knew others were brave enough to take?
- Do you remember your answer when you asked yourself, “Will I be willing to do that?”
I am the girl who wrote the book, Don’t Die Waiting to be Brave AND…these are questions I have asked myself so many times during my life I cannot count. Yet, it is the first time I remember asking myself those questions that has stuck in my mind my entire life. I was in about 4th or 5th grade in Catholic school learning about the Roman Empire in the period after the death of Jesus. I was being taught that people were willing to die for their belief in Jesus. I learned later it was a bit more complex than that, but in my young mind, I remembered it was about being willing to die for believing in Jesus. What I also remember is clearly asking myself the question, “Would I be willing to do that?
Over the years that moment in my development has come back to me many times. I learned young that I lived in a safe country. I believe I would never have to make the choice to die for what I believed religiously (which then also meant politically). A lot of water has flowed under that proverbial bridge in the last 50 years, yet I still feel I won’t have to face the choice early Christians did.
Then Ukraine was invaded, and her people thrown into war. They believe in their form of government. They believe they have the right to be a separate nation and are a separate nation. They believe they must defend their country from invasion. Day after day I am witnessing in real-time men, women, and children willing to defy all odds to defend their right to live in their country and elect a government they choose. Before my eyes, I am witnessing human bravery and courage I am still not sure I would have.
What I am sure of is Ukrainian people are asking me to see what it means to defend your nation, the human capacity for bravery and courage, and how every day they cannot deny what is happening and are willing to defy at all costs when what is happening is wrong.
Are you that brave?
To stay inspired during these challenging times I suggest you watch the documentary, The Singing Revolution. The story of how Estonia broke away from Russia after 50 years of unwanted rule.
For those who play with the VIA, here is part of the definition of the character strength courage, and the attribute of bravery:
“Bravery requires the presence of danger, loss, risk, or potential injury. Without a sense of danger, risk, or vulnerability, there is no bravery in an act. Bravery is valuable because it allows people to dampen their immediate response to danger and evaluate the appropriate course of action. Bravery involves the mastery of fear rather than fearlessness.”
P. 214, Character Strengths and Virtues: A handbook of classification, Christopher Peterson, Martin E. P. Seligman (2004)