Bravery is at the cornerstone of development. As individuals, we can only be happy and prosperous if we are brave. We are humans, and it’s natural to have fear or to be scared. However, we all require bravery to go beyond our fears and anxieties. Courage allows us the audacity to go after and get what we want in life. Bravery is not only the physical expression of will but is also soft power. It means that bravery also includes mental, emotional, and spiritual courage. Spiritual bravery is appreciated as embracing religiosity and spirituality.
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To be brave is to have a lot of unknowns and still pursue a goal. To not be deferred away from pursuing a goal or objective even when one faces hurdles and obstacles. When I think of bravery, what comes to my mind is the image of Atlas and the celestial heavens on his back. Imagine holding up the celestial heavens for all eternity and holding up the globe with all its heaviness and the pull of gravity pulling it down. Atlas exemplifies bravery. His invention of the celestial or global sphere now underpins what we understand as the spherical earth, astronomy, and the solar system. Imagine the world in your hands; would you be brave enough to carry it?
The world is complex, and our lives can be complicated too. Bravery comes in as an offensive tact and not necessarily a defense. It allows us to surge forward even in harsh circumstances. In the tide of life, bravery will enable us to move forward regardless of the roughness of the figurative seas. Trains, as an example, can be admired for their will and forward momentum. It would take a wall to stop a train, and in life, such toughness remains required. As individuals and members of society, we sometimes lack the courage to be ambitious and to go after our goals and
When I speak of valor, what comes to mind is military service. Conscription or the military draft is an excellent example of how we are all called to be brave and fight for our countries. God forbid, our nations went to war, we would all have the inherent responsibility to undergo training and head to the battlefield to fight for our countries. Our nations are our refuge, and as an individual, my country is my refuge and the place I call home. By what our countries have given to us in terms of education, peace, shelter, and other facilitation, we remain obliged to protect the sovereignty of our nations.
The national flag is a symbol of bravery and the valor of those that came before us. Our ancestors and forbears fought and died to ensure that our countries could become independent and sovereign states. The right to govern ourselves and the independence fought for has enabled us the opportunity and environment to succeed. We can only succeed in a peaceful environment and when we have the bravery to pursue our ambitions. Success can be elusive, and this is especially true when the individual lacks the drive and the initiative to do what it takes to succeed.
During World War 2, the Normandy landings were a true expression of valor. The allied forces mounted an enormous war effort that laid the foundation for the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. Today, we enjoy the peace that we cherish due to the efforts of those who fought and protected the world; in a time when it was crumbling and under the ruin. Among the fighters during WW2, there were African and African-sourced soldiers, otherwise known as buffalo soldiers who joined the allied forces to fight for liberation. Our forefathers and those who came before us helped secure the future that we enjoy today out of their bravery. They fought without question and gave their lives so that we can enjoy peace, liberty, and unity.
Understanding the kind of effort and sacrifice that went into emancipation from evils such as slavery is the first step in appreciating the world we live in today. Injustices inflicted on Africa and African societies could have influenced the genetic expression of subsequent generations through epigenetics. We may have inherited some negative notions about race, complexion, and survival, as we saw on the epigenetics article. However, we inherited desirable characteristics as well, including bravery, perseverance, and self-drive. We are go-getters because over generations, little was handed to us, and we have had to literally and figuratively fight for a chance at success and prosperity.
The South Africa of today and the beautiful nation that we now know as Mzansi has come a long way over the last decades. In the times of Apartheid, native black South Africans were persecuted, abused, and treated unjustly. The country, with the help of its heroes such as Nelson Mandela, was able to overcome this prosecution due to the bravery they amassed. The then apartheid government was ruthless and brutal, and South Africans had to fight armed soldiers and forces to get their independence. Here in Kenya, the same holds of the Mau Mau freedom fighters and field marshalls such as the late Dedan Kimathi. These men and even women fought in the wild, and the trenches through impossible conditions and environments against an enemy they had little chance of defeating. They exhibited momentous bravery and courage through relentless effort and persistence, and today we can proudly enjoy our independence due to their efforts.
Bravery is the calling of all society to seek and pursue prosperity and success. We should not be afraid of success or failure. We should encapsulate failure within motivation and gained knowledge for it to catapult us into victory and to live our dreams. Our dreams should be authentic, tangible, and African dreams and not ideas as per what other cultures define as success. As Africans, we should be proud of our history and teach it to the younger ones in society. It will allow us the appreciation of how far African culture has come and the recognition of the inherent greatness within every one of us, and collectively as the African people. We are all equal regardless of race, and as much as we appreciate foreign culture and lifestyles, having and creating our way of life would feed into our pride and the joy of being African.