Thursday, April 13, 2006
Bravery & Matza Balls
Trying to find a definition of bravery will lead you on a journey of the vague. "The act of being brave..." The definition of brave? "Having courage...." I didn't even bother looking up the definition of courage quite simply out of assumption that the definition would be "Showing bravery".... I've been thinking about bravery a lot. What strikes me about bravery is how many shapes and sizes, forms and faces it takes. Bravery, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Eight year olds who dig worms out of the ground only to shove them into their mouths and swallow quickly with clenched eyelids - to meet a challenging dare - are truly the essence of childhood. But it is the eight year old who walks to school and back alone. Sits solitary on the school bus...tries to ignore their beautifully imperfect figures...tries to be like, the infamous, "everyone else". They are the ones I find truly brave. Because they wake to the day with pain in tow - and keep on going. Because they're often silent about their insecurities, grow to be adolescents - and grow even quieter. I often look to the ground when I'm walking alone. When I drive pass a child walking...alone... head held high, eyes at the world, tears will well up in my eyes and the only way to describe the feeling is...overwhelming. NORD - the National Organization for Rare Diseases, lists one rare medical condition after another...and I think to myself - how many people must wake up every day feeling abnormal. They don't even necessarily need to have a disease. They feel different, they hide - and yet their bravery is in keeping their imperfections under wraps - saving others from the ever complex land of emotional etiquette. New films are surfacing that tackle September 11th, 2001. It is a day that changed my perspective on just about everything I had ever known...as unoriginal as that may sound. I think often of that day. I think often of the amount of lives that were lost in a single day. Each person a story...lost. Seen only by a select few. It leads me to other moments of catastrophe... the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the Rwandan Massacre of 1994, every other day in Sudan or Sierra Lionne. Bosnia. Oklahoma City. Every morning, people wake up with the people they love...missing. Those people face the graves, the memorial statues. The hallowed grounds. They are the personification of bravery. Tomorrow, I will reluctantly sit with my family for a lengthy period of time and remind myself of the story of a people who believed. Belief is an example of the truest bravery. Because on the path of belief you will question, you will resent and you will find yourself as lost as grief, insecurity and fear. But somehow you will believe - and to face that belief is brave. I wish you all - someone to see your story...to turn the pages carefully...and to believe until the very end. Happy Passover.