Courage comes from the Latin word cor, meaning heart. Courage is demonstrating the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. Bravery is simply defined as a quality or state of being. Most can see how the two are connected, but allow me to share how they are different.
To be brave, you must have courage. Bravery isn’t needed to demonstrate courage.
Many of us are brave, but not many demonstrate courage when it is needed, desired or required in our lives. It’s difficult to share the story of who you are with others sincerely because we expect their condemnation and disapproval. We choose to share who we are with those who are like us in some way or may have had similar experiences. This allows us to be brave without much fear.
Those who have the courage, the faith to take the first step, demonstrate courage. To be authentically you with people not like you, people who publicly claim to hate or disagree with what you are more than considering who you are takes courage. When you can let go of what you and/or others say you should be and begin to walk into who you are and can be, you not only demonstrate courage, but also your faith. Have the courage to go beyond the narrow definitions and emotions we place on things, words, yourself and one another. Take a step forward.
Embrace who you are, but don’t become anchored by it. Who you were years ago isn’t what you are today. Just like time, we too must keep moving forward. Everything in your life doesn’t require certainty; it needs your courage, it needs you to be brave, it needs you to have some measure of faith. You can get through it.
Consider the day that we may live where neither you nor I are blamed or blaming, but demonstrating the courage and bravery that accepts responsibility. Stop pretending that what you say, what you may do, nor the things you say and think doesn’t matter, because it does. It is what help you’re your perceptions and encourages your interactions.
Understand that what matters. You matter. They matter. I matter. We matter. Allow yourself to be seen, not by boasting, pretending or exaggerating yourself to be more, less or aligned with what everyone else is doing. Be brave enough to share with others what it takes to be you by demonstrating the courage to let them know it’s alright for them to be themselves.