What Was One Of The Bravest Things You Have Ever Done?

What was one of the bravest things you have ever done and what was the outcome? That was the question posed to me from my children. I thought about that word “Brave” and then I responded with this answer.

“I really can’t think of anything spectacular that I have done which I would call ‘brave’ but I can best summarize that I feel standing up for what you believe is right, when you stand alone, is being brave. So many times, in my life I have felt that the moral stance I have taken on a number of issues has been unpopular, or thought of as “weird.” It is always hard to feel that you are “odd” or not understood by your peers, but there is nothing worse than not being true to yourself. My religious background has put me at odds with a changing culture that sees my beliefs as outdated, old fashioned; or sometimes as extremely intolerant. It’s easy to ‘go with the current flow.’ The road well-traveled is easier but rarely requires anything of the participant. So, I have spent a lifetime bravely trying to forge ahead were few want to go. I’m OK with that and the fact that while many people admire your conviction, they don’t understand your ‘why.’

One example I do remember that taught me about standing up and being ‘brave’ was when I was Captain of the Soccer team in my senior year of High School. We would, on occasion, have access to using the football field for practice because the football team was using the upper fields for drills. One day, due to the prior days heavy rain, the upper fields were mired in mud and the football team had no place to practice. So their coach approached our coach, because we were scheduled to have the football field, and asked if we could split the football field in half so they wouldn’t have to practice in the mud; which also might have ruined the upper field grass. Our coach consented and so the football team practiced on one half while we used the other half. Because we had a scrimmage scheduled that day with the JV, we put two gym bags as goals on the 50-yard line for a make shift goal. During the course of the practice, one of the football players ran a pattern and tripped on one of the gym bags. I was way down on the other side but I heard someone yelling and saw this football player pick up the gym bag and throw it and start yelling for us to get off their field. Soon, not only did the whole team start yelling (some profanity was mixed in) but the head coach joined in and started to berate the whole team. My coach called for us to leave the field so everyone did…except me. I was so incensed by the disrespect being shown to us that I wouldn’t leave. With my hands on my hips, I started a slow walk across the field towards the whole football team and soon the yelling started to die down and I could see on their faces (many were friends of mine) that they recognized that what they were doing was wrong. I never said a word but walked up to the entire football team and stopped about 10 yards from them. The entire field went quiet and we stood there in silence for about 10 seconds before I turned around and slowly walked off the field.

    The next day the head coach of the football team asked to speak with us. He offered a heartfelt apology to us all and told us that he knew we had a home game that day and that as a show of support, the entire football team would be in the stands to cheer us on. I remember thinking how much I respected that coach for doing that. And true to his word, the entire football team showed up in the stands to cheer us on. I remember thinking at the time, “when you stand for what is right and true, you can never go wrong.”

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