Smart And Spicy

What, Me, Brave?


January 14, 2016

I have a friend who had to have a bone marrow transplant over the past year. That was brave. Now her Facebook photo is a picture of Wonder Woman. She's brave.

A writer I know has a 5-year-old grandson, Max, who loves the character "Iron Man". Max has hemophilia, a genetic condition that stops his blood from clotting. Max could die if he has even a minor injury. When Max needed surgery to get a metal port in his chest, he told people, “I get to be Iron Man!” Max and his sister made up calendars and sold them, raising $7500 for Max's hospital. When Marvel Comics heard about Max, they created a new character in the series, called Iron Max, and gave Max a special comic book. Now Max is a superhero. He's brave.

We all have life challenges. For many of us, these are not health-related. I'm trying to be brave myself with something I'm going through now. It's not easy.

I once had a friend who gave me a gift of a small clock face. It had no hands. My friend wrote on the card with it: "Our friendship is timeless. Be Brave." I didn't need to be brave then. Now I do.

Why do we lose things over time? Is there a reason? Have you noticed that small things often become more precious over time? They seem to acquire more meaning. Why is that? I wish I had that little clock face now.

I'm lucky that what I'm facing doesn't involve health issues, but it does require bravery.

Did you ever feel not brave? Am I the only one who feels not very brave? When faced with something hard, people perceive bravery differently.

When I made drastic changes in my life and moved to Paris, friends called that brave. It didn't feel that way to me. I just didn't see it that way; it felt like an imperative.


Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.

General Omar N. Bradley


Soldiers are brave. Firemen are brave. First responders are brave.

I once met Jonas Salk, who discovered the first successful polio vaccine. I was sitting on a sofa next to him, and suddenly realized I was talking to a real-life hero. Was he brave? Are heroes brave?

Does bravery need to be heroic?

Do you have to be a hero to be brave? Are you a hero if you are brave? Or can ordinary normal people call up bravery when they need to?

British people have bravery instilled in them. It's more than a "stiff upper lip" thing. Great Britain is a country that has always honored its brave soldiers, not just on one or two days a year. Even the smallest town has a monument to fallen soldiers.

Once war-conscious, the U.S is honoring our soldiers and vets. Maybe not nearly enough.

To go to war. To fight in a war. To put yourself in a danger zone. That's brave.

Problems we each face in our lives dwarf in comparison.

Still, we all have our challenges. Be brave!.


©Carole Bell 2016 Carole Bell is a writer interested in everything.

You can write to her at:


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