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Sky Alton

What Does Brave Mean to You?

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“You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart.”-JK Rowling, Philosopher’s Stone

 

  I was pondering this in IRC yesterday: what does ‘brave at heart’ actually mean? Charging into a battle, standing up for (or to) someone else, facing a fear or just quietly getting on with things when your world is going down the drain? The Sorting Hat doesn’t exactly give us much of a clue, even in Order of the Phoenix where Gryffindor’s are ‘those with brave deeds to their name’. It seems to me that a brave deed could be pretty much anything, depending on the person in question.

 

  So, indipendent of the Harry Potter universe, what does brave mean to you? (And no, you don’t need to be a Gryff or consider yourself  ‘brave at heart’ to weigh in, have at it!)

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Brave to me is standing up for (or to) someone else, standing up against terrorism and not being afraid. That kind of things... 

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Oddly enough, I was reading a book the other day and read something about just what is brave ... and it was perfect for me.  I will look for the book (and edit this post when I find it) but in the meantime, I googled with a rough paraphrase and found this:  

 

"Being brave isn't the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it." Bear Gryll

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The first thing I thought of when I thought brave was that Sarah Bareilles song "Brave"

 

"Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave"

 

Which is about speaking out and standing up for what you think is right instead of remaining silent and passive. I think this sentiment applies to far more than words, though. It's about not lying down and taking it, even when it would be easier to remain silent, inactive, and let something consume you. Being brave is about gathering the willpower to move life in the direction you want it to go, regardless of whatever forces are working against you. Fighting as hard as you can for what you want. 

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I'm still looking for that one quote, but found another which I'd written up which I like just as much.  From Catching Fire by Suzanne Collinson (page 118)

"Life in District 12 isn't really so different from life in the arena. At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead. The hard thing is finding the courage to do it."

 

***edit*** and look what I found -

This has been said in many ways, by many people.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ~

"Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision." ~ Winston S. Churchill

Courage is being yourself everyday in a world that tells you to be someone else.

Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear." - Mark Twain

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak: courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." ~ Winston Churchill

"When the warrior within you awakens, you will no longer fear death. You'll realize that a person can kill your body, but they can never kill your soul." ~Lonewolf
 

Edited by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
found some wonderful stuff :)
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Bravery could also mean to stand up against yourself in situations where oneself finds that they are doing something that contradicts to what they truly believe in. You are your worst enemy and there will be times where people will try to influence you into doing things you really don't want to do, or make you change your personality in order to fit their "criteria." Yes, you certainly have to stand up against this certain individual(s) but in all honesty, I feel that fight needs to first be battled within you. You should want yourself to stop being controlled by others and be the person that you want to be. Life is too short to let other people dictate the way you live. 

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Brave is one of those words that can have so many different meanings to many different people. People who can show emotion and openly shed a tear are tremendously brave to me. Those people who are unafraid to show emotion, to allow themselves to be vulnerable are immensely brave. People who stand up for what they believe, for what they believe is right, even though most of the world may disagree with them. People who take that leap even though they may fall. Those people are brave to me. 

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Bravery can be standing up for something you believe in, protecting someone or protecting yourself, or continuing to go on through life even when it feels like life has no meaning anymore or that you don't deserve it. Bravery to some people is stepping out on a stage in front of an audience of over 2000 people and dancing like there's no one else in the room. Bravery can be admitting that you made a mistake. These are all things I have experienced in one way or another, myself or through someone else. One thing I also had to learn is that bravery can also mean just being yourself in a world that tries to make people conform to a type or an ideal. It's really hard to go out everyday and be different and have no desire to be like everyone else when society is telling me that I should be this or I should be that or I should look a certain way or do certain things just to be accepted. Brave is taking my hand and pushing all of that aside and saying, "That's nice, but I think I'm going to just be me today because I'm kind of awesome and that's good enough."

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Brave has so many definitions. But to me... it means the courage I must have to face each day and the challenges ahead. It pushes my drive and resolve. I had to have bravery to finish college. I have to have bravery when looking for a new job. To me, to be brave is to be strong in heart and resolve. To have a goal and go for it. To never give up and to face the lions. To walk in the snake pit to get to the next step. Its your heart's resolve to do something. You have to be brave... in heart and mind.

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