Not So Braveheart

Not So Braveheart

When faced with very frightening situations like watching Simba’s father die in Lion King or getting a vaccination, my favorite three-year old told me that she was very brave.  Bravery, like believing in Santa, often fades with time.  The brave me, who squared my shoulders and marched into a dark room all by myself has lost the gumption I had in childhood.  Most of the time, it doesn’t matter, but when I failed to defend the ideals and compassion of my country, it left me ashamed.

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Faraway and Trapped Underground

Faraway and Trapped Underground

I never tease friends about their phobias, even when they’re ridiculous (the phobias-not my friends).  There was a classmate who wouldn’t swim in the ocean after Jaws opened in theaters.  I haven’t seen her in years.  Maybe she still won’t swim.  I knew a seriously out of shape woman who was terrified of elevators: When her mother was hospitalized, she visited by climbing eleven flights of stairs.  When she finally reached the patients’ room wheezing, with cheeks flushed and hair tamped down with sweat, her mom called out, “Good Lord, Jane.  You look worse than I feel.”  Once, a dinner guest jumped straight up on our dining room when Fido V barked his hello.  I am sure each of these otherwise normal folks have their reasons, but even if they don’t, I firmly believe everyone is afraid of something-rational or not.  

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