Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Being brave

There is a writer whose blog I really enjoy reading.

This is particular is a fabulous post dealing with fear, failure then picking yourself up and continuing onwards.

She's honest, plucky and 'too stubborn for her own good'. That last one is her words, not mine, though I agree with it.

Perseverance is something I strive for, I recognize in others, and I admire, no matter their situation or profession.

I think there are many different kinds of bravery. I've talked before about how I hate fear and how I throw myself whole-heartedly into things. An all-or-nothing kind of personality. The dog chasing the disgusting, slobbery ball in the dog park until it collapses. I think mine is a mix of stupid, naive, and pig-headed bravery. I get sucked into things before realizing the ramifications, then I fight like a cornered dog to survive.

I hate to fail, and on the edge of impending failure, my pride always gives me that second wind and a burst of adrenaline. I'll make it through the fight, but I'll be pretty scraped up and a little skittish.

There's quiet bravery. I've seen it in a close family friend as cancer slowly ate her up. Even after the diagnosis, she always had an amazing smile, a grace, a peacefulness despite what must have been continuous, excruciating pain.

There is determined bravery. Like a friend of mine who is a firefighter. Or one who is an engineer volunteering on water projects in the middle east right now... as soon as the project is complete, it gets blown up and he starts all over again. Or the writer of the blog I linked.

There is reckless bravery. That person who forgets their own self-preservation in an emergency and risks life and limb to save someone else.

These are all good kinds of bravery, but I think there are bad kinds as well. Okay, not true bravery, but the facade of bravery...

The person who puts on a brave smile even though they desperately need someone to talk to... and are surrounded by people who would do just that, if only the person would drop the front and speak honestly.

That person at work who says, "I don't need help" then ends up dropping the ball on a major project.

When we craft characters, bravery is often one of the attributes we choose for the protagonist. More often than not, it would fall into the *good bravery* category. But *bad bravery* might make a more interesting character... what do you think? When we look at the negative aspects of our characters, how can we use them to have our characters make mistakes? Could *bad bravery* end up saving the day in the end?

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Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)