I often wonder what the word brave actually means in the 21st century.  Every time I hear it, my mind conjures up images of Mel Gibson, topless, fighting countless enemies to protect his country and (of course) the woman that he loves.

It is truly a lovely image….but not one that applies to my life, or anyone else’s that I know.


The dictionary defines Brave as: Showing courage under difficult or dangerous conditions.
This is not helpful.   While it gives definition to the concept, it misleads the mind to believe that we must be in a particularly ‘grand’ difficult position in order to achieve any notches on the bravery scale.

Hollywood personifies the word Brave with a redheaded Princess.  Brave, or Marinda, is a beautiful young princess who must fight a socially accepted tradition in order to be become the princess that she can be proud of.  Admittedly, Disney is touching on a real modern issue, self-confidence, they are also setting the standard quite high for any non-princess to be able to achieve.


My friends and family offer a far better definition of the word Brave in the modern world.  I took a brief look around me and here is what I found:


  • A man who ran across a continent in order to raise money to stop human trafficking.
  • A woman who adopts an abused child in order to try and give her a second chance.
  • A little girl who goes to an old age home to keep the residents happy and entertained.
  • A man who gets back on his feet after being knocked down by life, love and addiction.
  • A woman who refuses to stop climbing the corporate ladder despite being continually insulted by her male colleagues.
  • A friend who will let a stranger in her house because he has nowhere else to go.
  • A mother who would leave the only man she has ever loved, because she wants to protect her children.
  • A grandmother who will stand by her grand-daughter in a time when no one else will.
  • A family who can hold it together while they watched their 8month old son suffer with life threatening Meningitis.
  • You, who continue to get up everyday and contribute to the world in your own way.

I thank you for inspiring me.