Bravery to Be Marveled At

"They knew they were drawing near to the end of their journey, and that it might be a very horrible end." - Tolkien, The Hobbit.

“They knew they were drawing near to the end of their journey, and that it might be a very horrible end.” – Tolkien, The Hobbit.

I believe there are two types of people in the world, those that face danger head on and those that flee.  I am the latter.  I make no qualms about it and never claim to be anything else.  I consider myself a strong woman but not brave.  There’s no shame in that, it’s the truth.

I have always been amazed at people who do brave things.  I marvel at their ability to put their own well being aside for the benefit of others.  Soldiers, policemen, firemen, and paramedics all impress me.

I often think of the firemen on September 11th.  The determination and concern etched on their faces, running up those stairs.  It had to go against every human instinct.  I can’t even imagine having even an ounce of the courage that took.  They knew that there was a very good likelihood that it would not end well and yet they still went in.  What is that part of their spirit that does that?  I would have been the one hurtling people to get out of there.  I just know my personality and I simply could not be the one running in to save people.  It just wouldn’t happen.

Soldiers heading to battle always inspire a deep and profound admiration in me.  The bravery it takes, the courage they muster, and the deep gratitude they encourage.  Think of the kids during Vietnam, they were so young and they knew what they were facing.  So much death and destruction right in front of their faces.  That takes courage.  Not me, I am not going to go into any situation where there is even a remote chance that I will get shot at.  I just don’t have that in me.

I think that Bilbo and his companions are the fictional forms of bravery.  To forge ahead, even when their fates look so bleak, is the very base form of bravery.  I believe that’s why they are so adored.  We all like to think we are capable of brave actions but the truth is, it takes a special soul to do that.  For me, I am content to read about bravery from the safety of my own home.


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