Why is it that heroes are always characterized as brave?
In every story and movie I know, the hero (despite whatever shortcoming they have), is always being depicted as courageous. The Gryffindor. The dauntless. The brave warrior. The valiant avengers. Why? Why can’t we be heroes without being brave?
I thought about this from time to time. Why can’t someone be considered a hero simply because he’s smart? Because she’s kind? Because they’re honest? Or simply because they quietly follow the rule and doesn’t hurt anyone?
I’m not brave. I never was.
I’m not big at traveling to new places or being daring and spontaneous, jumping into waters and running with the wind to get that adrenaline rush. I like to quietly pretend that I’m invisible in a crowded room, am terrible at making small talks, and often shied away from meeting new people. I’m not particularly honorable either. Even with my idealism (or whatever left of it) I think I have never been particularly fond of confrontations.
Instead, I hide in my cave, filled with sketchbooks and stories about faraway lands. Sometimes, I try to be good, but I never really wanted to be brave.
Again, why is courage seems to be so important?
The more I think about it… perhaps, the only way somebody could make a difference in their life or somebody else’s, is through finding the courage to step out, disturb the waters a little, and just say… I’m gonna do it.
Because perhaps… Being smart is meaningless if we don’t try to create something. Maybe being kind is pointless if we don’t help another, and being honest is futile if we don’t speak out.
And those actions, take courage.
I saw this quote in an airport bookstore years ago. And somehow, I still remember it even until today.
“Everything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile… initially scared me to death” – Betty Bender.
Maybe it’s time for me to be one of those unlikely heroes.
And who knows, maybe it’s time for you to be one too.