The brave. We marvel about them. We live in awe of what they accomplish in spite of potential dangers or death. We honor them with songs, holidays, and keep them in the psyche of all Americans. But, what is it to be brave? If one person can stand up while others are in danger, why can't we all? Oddly enough, the answer to both questions is fear. Fear and the way we analyze, interpret, and respond to it. Fear is why some of us stand up ... and why the rest stay seated...
There is no bravery without fear. The two are mutually exclusive. Without fear to overcome, a hero isn't being brave he's just...well...being. The exhibition of bravery requires the acceptance of fear and a willingness to overcome it. Still, the term brave doesn't have to be reserved for our soldiers risking their lives on the front lines or firemen running towards a burning building as the masses run to safety. The meekest of men can be brave -- or rather -- decide to be brave.
That's the thing with bravery -- it requires a decision. It is not necessarily an unconscious decision either. While the bravest of men may have faced down their demons and fears a hundred times over -- to the point that gallantry is second nature to them -- it still requires that decision. That split second of thought in one's own mind: Courage or Cowardice. Each time. The call to be brave and lead must be answered.
I would argue that the decision is the most difficult part in the process of bravery. Once the nerve has been struck-up and the long march has begun, the hard part is over. That first step (and the decision to take it) is what separates brave from timid. So what possesses the daring, the bold, and the tenacious to make the decision to step up, step out, stand tall? The power of one.
One thought...One idea...One person. One person can change the world. In the United State of America, it is the individual that holds the power. It is the people that give the government its power to govern. It is our right to change any part of this process. The most precious right we have -- the power of the vote.
Taking it a step further, all it takes is one person with a desire for change. One person can change the country. One person can change the world. The process is in place. The stage is set. The crowd is waiting...America is waiting. If you don't believe that one person can change the world, you're not only living in the wrong country, you're not paying attention. One President has set his sights on healthcare and the way this country cares for the sick. One Justice went left instead of right to keep this healthcare bill alive (and make it legal). One person reading this post may be inspired and become the next Governor of (insert state). The one person writing this post has changed the world in ways his readers will never know -- all because of his passion for this country and hope for the future of this country.
We need more people in this country to believe in the power of one. It is this belief, and steadfast faith in this experiment we call the United States of America, that we as a country need right now. The need for leaders has never been so acute. I challenge all young people in this country to accept their fears, face them, and be brave. Stand up as a nation or prepare to be forever told to sit down. We need you.
America needs you.