“Don’t go there? I live there. I’m building a house there.”
- Margaret Cho, “Revolution.”
A couple of months ago, I became the proud recipient of the “Bravest Blog Post” award from the good people over at MMO Melting Pot. I didn’t know what to say at the time, mostly because I was so flabbergasted that I had actually won something. But I never forgot about what it meant to win that award and the makings of a post about this have been brewing in my head for quite some time now. It wasn’t until this past weekend where it really dawned on me what being given this Piggie Award truly meant to me.
I don’t think being brave is something that anyone can aspire to or that you can actively try to be. I don’t think someone can wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and say to themselves “I think I’m going to be brave today.” I think bravery comes from doing something or saying something that you absolutely know needs to be done or said, and so you defy all odds against you to do just that.
This is brave. This post came from someone who felt something or had an opinion about something and chose to disagree with a very vocal majority and weathered the storm of negative comments on Twitter and on her blog because of it.
That post reminds me of the very reason that I decided to start blogging in the first place. I decided to start blogging so that I could give people something to talk about. I got tired of reading the endless parade of blogs, where the authors do nothing but agree with and shower praise on one another. I got tired of people trying to turn the Internet into a better place that I did not ask for. I was sick of reading about people who claimed to want a better, more all inclusive community, but yet were the first ones to ostracize you the minute you disagreed with them or stood out in any real way.
Nobody is brave anymore. I think the community could use a shot of bravery or two. People often times misunderstand me and think that I enjoy conflict. I don’t. What I do enjoy are people who are honest and who are unafraid to share their opinions. I feel that we learn more that way, when we don’t have anything in common, or when we are coming at things from different a perspective than we do if we all start off feeling exactly the same way about something.
I miss seeing people not be afraid to not get along with one another. I miss seeing someone say “I don’t agree with you,” or hell, even “I don’t like you.” Everyone is so busy trying to walk that line and trying to keep the pretense going, whether because they don’t know how to cope with such perceived negative emotions or situations, or because they are simply trying to keep up an image that could possibly affect their readership or anything else that they may have going for them.
I don’t have those issues. I say what’s on my mind. I Follow who I want to Follow. I support who I choose to support. I don’t expect my friends to dislike the people that I dislike. I don’t write blog posts hoping that everyone who reads them will agree with me. I have never understood the appeal or the allure of any of those things. I do what I want and to hell with what anyone else thinks. That’s why I won that award. I didn’t win it because I came out of the closet. I didn’t win it because of the number of comments or the number of Retweets that I racked up. I won that Piggie Award because I said something that nobody else would say and because I did something that nobody else would do.
That’s what being brave is all about.
When is the last time you did something brave?