22 June 2010

Being Brave

The meaning of "bravery" seems to me to be a very important philosophical exploration. What does the word mean to you? Does it have something to do with dignity?

I have often felt intimidated by people who appear to be more sophisticated, wealthy and/or powerful than myself. Perhaps it is something to do with my upbringing. Yet I find that once I get to know people, regardless of their background, it is not sophistication or wealth or power that I fear but aggression.

People who have more sophistication than me may be able to deal with aggression more wisely, if not more bravely. People with more wealth may be able to afford protection from aggression, by paying for personal security services and legal support that are beyond my financial reach. People with more power, on the other hand, have a duty that is greater than my own because their power implies the ability to control the behaviour of others.

Perhaps being brave has mostly to do with ensuring that powerful people do their duty, preventing aggressive behaviour. But how can I have a quiet life and do that?

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