We are constantly bombarded by what it is to be brave. Apparently, if television and movies were to be believed, it is to be fearless. Not afraid of anything. Only a wuss is afraid of things. Superman is brave. Batman is brave. Spiderman is brave. They fight the bad guys and win. That’s what being brave is all about. A macho man. (Or woman)
However, I think what most definitions of the word brave and portrayals of bravery forget is that a person does something despite being scared. I personally don’t think being brave is equivalent to being completely and utterly fearless. Think about it — if you are not scared of something…say snakes for example, then going up to one and holding it is not exactly an act of bravery for you…it’s just another act. But on the other hand, a person who is shit scared of snakes goes ahead and still manages to hold one despite pretty much shitting themselves is definitely doing something brave. Because it’s not something they would normally do. It took them a lot of guts to do it.
And that’s why, when I read about this one particular act during the whole Queensland floods, it brought tears to my eyes. The story of Jordan Rice. He was a 13 year old boy who sacrificed his own life so that his 10 year old brother could be saved. And he wasn’t just any 13 year old boy. He was a boy who was scared of water and scared of the dark. Can you imagine how brave he had to have been to insist the rescuers take his brother first, all the while being really scared of the water himself?
I’ll admit that given my own fears and anxieties, I feel a sense of affinity to others who are anxious. And Jordan seemed to be one such boy. Facing your fears is hard in any circumstance. And losing your life in the process only makes it an even braver act.
I hope deeds like these are shown as examples of bravery rather than what we are usually privy to thanks to movies.
And to Jordan Rice, may he rest in peace. Knowing that he did a very courageous deed.
Until next time,