“The fearless are merely fearless. People who act in spite of their fear are truly brave.”

12 Nov

If you told me someone like me was brave, I wouldn’t believe you. Because there are millions of people out there living lives that are infinitely more brave than any I might leave. People like these. People like these. Or like her. These people are heroes to me. These people have fought, and still fight for something worthy and meaningful.

Many of you called me brave on this post recently, and while half of me filled up with mushy goo at being thought as someone like that, the rest of my hung it’s head quietly. I’m not like that, not at all. If I truly was brave, I’d be out fighting more vigorously for the rights and needs of the mentally ill. I’d be advocating for, reasonable treatment for new mothers, guidelines for doctors to follow after birth with these mothers. I’d be screaming for doctors who pay more attention to the mental health of their patients, who ask questions of their patients instead of merely waiting for the questions to be asked.

While we’re at it, I’d also like a pony.

If I were truly brave-I’d be doing more than simply living. I’d find a way to rally for change. If I were truly brave, I’d stop thinking that only the well to do have a right to organize and campaign for change even though that seems to be the case most of the time. I’d find a way to change things. I’d find a way to change the attitude that mental illness means art.

If I were truly brave, I’d be out there, doing something, producing change, forcing people to see the world as I do, forcing people to realize that there is a looking glass, and some of us do live on the other side of it.

But alas, I’m not, and here we sit.

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3 Responses to ““The fearless are merely fearless. People who act in spite of their fear are truly brave.””

  1. marcelarhodus November 12, 2007 at 4:53 pm #

    “If I were truly brave, I’d be out there, doing something, producing change, forcing people to see the world as I do, forcing people to realize that there is a looking glass, and some of us do live on the other side of it”

    you are doing just that, one day at a time, through your writings and through your honesty… you are producing change, small if you choose to call it so, but it’s change, and that change will have a cascade effect.

  2. cerebralmum November 12, 2007 at 5:23 pm #

    While it makes sense that you feel you should be doing more, and you think of extroverted, external things as action, the one thing I know is this: The only thing that has ever changed the world is words.

    Maybe you think writing this blog is an internal, almost self-indulgent thing, that you do for yourself. Maybe when people read and leave comments and support, you feel like you get a selfish pleasure from it, but the truth is, it isn’t that easy to expose your internal reality, even when it is through the filter of the internet. And when you write about what you experience, the people reading have the chance to gain insight they might otherwise never have. And when you write about the issues in the world from your perspective, we get to look at them from your perspective. It adds to us. It may not seem as useful as going out there and taking a sledgehammer to everything wrong in the world (something we all want to do) but it is far more effective.

    Is it brave? I don’t know. I think looking at yourself without blinders on is the bravest thing anyone can do.

  3. bine November 13, 2007 at 9:07 am #

    bravery is really very hard to define. i think for most of us it’s much easier to see bravery in other people than in ourselves.
    i have so many fears i have gotten quite good at acting in spite of my fears. and that starts at driving through tunnels and ends at going into surgery not knowing if i’d wake up neutered. i never felt brave about any of it. it’s just things you have to do so life doesn’t come to a standstill. but things you actually choose to do even though you don’t have to are usually regarded as brave. what you do doesn’t have to be noble, or worthy, or meaningful to all of us. sometimes it’s enough if it’s just meaningful for a very few, or even just one of us. or even just to yourself.

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