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C07P14 – Not the Same Thing

C07P14 – Not the Same Thing published on 25 Comments on C07P14 – Not the Same Thing

Funny how one word can mean so many different things. Or be used to excuse behavior that’s the exact opposite of what the word represents.

Bravery is such an interesting word. What does it really mean? It conjures images of epic actions, heroic battles, boldly standing up for What’s Right in the face of terrible odds. Yet that depiction always seemed hollow to me. The alternative for not being brave in those situations is often so bad that in that moment, I’d probably be just of scared (if not more) of the consequences of doing nothing. At least if I was doing SOMETHING I’d feel a little less afraid.

So in many ways, I think it’s the little moments that are the most difficult to be brave in, because you have a muddy choice between what is easy…and what is right.

Standing up for someone in a conversation when they don’t feel strong enough to stand up for themselves, even if it makes a previously casual chat awkward and socially fraught with danger. Accepting the consequences of an action with grace and dignity, rather than dragging others through emotional mud for the sake of pride. Helping a stranger when their credit card comes up denied in line at the grocery store. Offering to help an elderly woman to reach something in a store. Standing up for yourself, saying “no,” when everybody expects you to say “yes.” Striking up a conversation with a stranger, because it looked like they needed someone to talk to.

They’re such small things, but there’s a palpable barrier that has to be pushed through. I’ve been in all of those situations above myself. Some I was able to act in. Others, I opened my mouth to speak, felt that barrier, and silenced my own voice. There was no do-or-die. No major consequence when I failed to act. It’s easy to walk away. Except you never know when a tiny act of kindness, or support, or generosity will change a person’s life. Many of the biggest moments in my life happened in tiny conversations.

One of my favorite phrases is, “Do not concern yourself with great deeds. Only with good ones every day.”

How has a small act of bravery changed your life?

25 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if, seven years ago, a woman on the bus hadn’t opened her mouth and asked me what I was reading. That small act of courage on her part was part of a larger battle she was fighting–with equal bravery–and without the conversation we had, I don’t think I would know now how much effect the smallest things we do have on the most unlikely people. Honestly, I might not even be here writing this. She was battling a terminal illness then and she may very well be dead now, but I’ll never forget her.

I’m going to stand vigil outside of my local Planned Parenthood for 40 Days for Life. I’m going to have to muster up some bravery for that! I’ve never done that before. (And I’m going to have to endure cold weather while doing it.) Only one other person seems to have signed up for my time slot… oh dear. There’s still time. It’s still a couple of weeks away.

It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in. I personally don’t support that cause, but I respect that you do and are willing to contribute your time and effort for what you believe is right.

Can I ask why you are prochoice?

Lots of reasons. Part of it is where I define life as beginning – generally late pregnancy. Another part of it is the increase in self-inflicted harm and death in countries where abortion is banned. Also the likely quality of life issues of a child that is unwanted, particularly for more impoverished or poorly educated women that were less likely to have access to birth control in the first place. And I do not feel I have the right to tell someone else what choices to make in a life-changing decision. I don’t think abortion is a good choice to make, but I believe people have the right to make that choice. I’d prefer they took precautions to avoid the necessity of such a choice, but they had the right to those choices too.

I’m always open to hearing other perspectives. May I hear why you’re pro-life?

I am pro-life because I believe what scientists have a consensus on: life begins at conception. You are alive if you are growing and developing. Women are still being killed by legal abortions, and if they aren’t killed they may never be able to get pregnant again, and there is psychological damage to every woman who has an abortion. Men are also damaged psychologically. Parent’s natures are to protect their children, and if they have an abortion or convince their partner to have one, there is more depression and suicidal thoughts and actions. It is very hard for good families to adopt because the lack of children. Abortion clinics are not regulated well and are often filthy. Minorities are targeted. More African American children were aborted than born in 2010. Facts about abortion are not made available by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers for women to make an informed decision. In our sex everywhere culture, an unwed woman being pregnant is not anything to bat an eyelash at, and there is support for her and her child. I could go on. 🙂 Here is a good resource for more info: http://endingabortion.com/event All the sessions are good but I recommend “The Case for Life” and “Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Empire” for our purposes. It is directed to pro-lifers, but anyone can listen to it.

Oh, Ravazhi. You so smart.

I think what you said is very true. Few of us will get the chance to save someone from dying in a car accident or something, but we all have a chance to stand up against something that isn’t fair or doesn’t make sense.

Hi! I’m a brand new reader. I just devoured this entire story. Yummy. XD
There are many things I want to know, and things that I want to happen that may never occur. I hope Zhiro and Mizha resolve things. I enjoy Tama’s character development. I am still very confused by a lot of things.

Now, as to a small thing… I do them regularly. I got this from my dad, who is very much non-conformist to society’s idea that people should stay in their own little bubbles. He has made me brave in so many ways.
But one woman, who’s name to this day escapes me, and an old English teacher of mine, they were amazing. The woman was a survivor of a concentration camp, and when she told me the story, I just… It’s hard to describe, but it inspired me to go straight home and write about it. And my English teacher, he was the first to treat me as an equal.

Hi Ryu!! Welcome! Very glad to have you here, and thank you for the comic! Hopefully things will become less confusing as we continue. I want readers to explore the world, rather than have it explained, but it’s a real challenge to get the mix between too much and not enough information. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if something’s frustrating or super confusing! It’s important for me to know, so I can improve my process!

The people you mention sound incredible! As a fellow writer, I also think it’s wonderful that you took the inspiration from the survivor and thought to chronicle that experience. As for the impact a good teacher can have…that goes without saying!

Ahhh… Now I know that this is a Timu village and that ser Rava is sheltering? hiding? here.

I don’t know about ‘changed my life’, but definitely made a big difference. Last year I was on the way back from a long road trip and wound up getting a bad tank of gas. The trip had been longer than expected, so there I was, 5-6 hours from home under normal circumstances, with just enough money to get there under normal circumstances, with a car that was sputtering to a stop every thirty miles or so, on a very long empty freeway. I finally found a rest stop to pull into only to realize I was out of power on my go-phone, so I started asking the people around if they’d let me borrow their phone for a few minutes so I could call my parents and let them know what was going on. I’m the independent sort; I figured that yeah, it would take positively forever to get home this way, but I could manage it, right? I just had to let people know I was liable to be really really late. Most people ignored the request, or just plain said no. I gave up and sat in my car, door open, and was planning to get going in my 30-miles-at-a-time manner until I reached a gas station or someplace where I could charge the thing when a trucker walked up to me and asked what the problem was. I explained, and she not only lent me her phone, she explained that she’d had the problem herself before and helped me figure out what I needed to do to fix it. She followed me on the road to make sure I got to the next gas station, then insisted on covering my refilling the tank and getting additives to help clear it so I’d have enough money to replace the fuel filter at the next town with a mechanic. I’m still not sure how things would’ve turned out without her help.

That’s an incredible story! You never know where help is going to be offered from. She really went the extra mile (pun not intended…okay, maybe intended a little) to make sure you were okay. I wonder if somebody was there to help her when she had that same trouble, or if she was able to reach out because nobody else did? Either way, I’m glad that she was there!

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