I’ve been hearing the words “You’re a very brave woman.” a lot lately and I have to confess to feeling anything but. It also left me questioning what I believe to be the meaning of the word as I was thinking well maybe I have it wrong if so many people seem to think that my recent actions warrant being classed as ‘brave’ so I got out my trusty dictionary – after collecting the box it was in from storage and unpacking it again.
brave (according to my source – The Macquarie Concise Dictionary Third Edition) – adj. 1. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance. 2. making a fine appearance. – n. 3. a North American Indian warrior. – v.t. 4. to meet or face courageously: to brave misfortune.
So then of course I decided to look up courageous and found:
courage n. 1. the quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and danger with firmness or without fear; bravery. – courageous adj.
I figured the word was not being used as a noun and I am definitely not a North American Indian warrior but just to be sure I looked up the words verb (transitive and standard), noun and adjective, then went on to look up what I feel, which is impulsive and impetuous.
Then I had bad flashbacks of working for a company run by Scientologists in the 1990’s and the ‘L Ron Hubbard study technique’ that they had me learn before I ran screaming from the organisation. Suffice to say I didn’t learn anything in their training course other than how to use a dictionary as the basis of the ‘study technique’ is to ensure that you understand what you’re reading and they then questioned my understanding of every single word on a page including ‘a’ and ‘the’ and ‘and’ you get the picture I’m sure. That shit sticks with you for life – I’m scarred for life I tell you! Don’t get me wrong I am a believer of the old live and let live, and each to their own adages, just so long as it is each to their own and live and let live and doesn’t turn into each to their own so long as it’s the same as my belief.
But I digress, my point, I don’t feel brave which means to possess or exhibit courage or courageous endurance. There was no endurance, I turned tail within ten days! There was also no courage as there was no lack of fear or presence of firmness, ergo very little bravery shown. Fear was aplenty believe me, I can’t stand being afraid so my reaction to it in most cases is to face what is making me afraid as soon as possible and get it over and done with, get rid of the fear and move on. Truly can’t stand fear, it’s uncomfortable, debilitating, stifling, stunting……. Can you tell I’ve had my dictionary out?
Impulsivity and impetuousness on the other hand I think were in abundance, but that’s just my take on it all.