Brave

26 Mar

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?

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7 Responses to “Brave”

  1. hayfayfay #

    Preach that good word, O! Jesus is a biscuit.. LEMME SOP YOU UP.

    You’ve touched on why I rarely comment on controversial posts in the community. I type them out.. delete them up. Why? Because I’m scared that someone may throw pitchforks and torches at me over my opinion and that’s really fucking sad. In this day and age we all should be able to agree to disagree without being douchebags to each other or defriending each other, but maybe that’s asking too much :(

  2. Effraeti #

    Great post, O. :) And I appreciate the support on the front of individual thought!

    The sentiments are nice, but I do not know if I would call it brave – unless being opinionated and sarcastic and not knowing when to shut up are brave? ;)

    Or maybe I have learned when to shut up, because after a while reading through the remainder of the comments I have not replied to yet, I realized it better to step away than to reply with “Yah? Well, YOUR FACE!” and call it a day rather than to feel I am talking myself in circles anymore.

    I think I am all opinionated out for now. But I have lots, so I am sure something will pop up again later. :)

    ~ Effy

  3. aerix88 #

    Right, so being brave, as your post has requested. :D

    I don’t see this, what you’ve described above. I see plenty of people who disagree with me and with others speak their mind that they think/feel what they think/feel. I also see a lot of people who go over the top in their reactions to what others think/feel and are nasty and negative just to be nasty and negative.

    Do I think that’s you? Not all the time no, but there are times where I see what you respond with and it doesn’t come across as being brave or speaking one’s mind. It comes across as just being spiteful. Maybe that’s not the right word, I dunno. I’m not the writer I once was 10-15 years ago. I used to be able to blog, but no longer.

    Do I think you’re brave? Abso-fucking-lutely. Do I think everyone needs to be in-your-face, listen-to-me-intensely-disagree-with-you, all the time? Very much no. I think we need to strike a balance, especially when people drive others away in the way that they do. I’m also not saying we need to be “PC” and super-sugary-sweet and nice all the time. Balance.

    There are a few folks I follow on Twitter that I’m a bit repulsed and shocked by what they react with. Because they are over-reacting. But it’s on my to speak my mind… or to simply stop following them, as there are a few out there that I simply do not read what they say anymore because they do not bring value to the table, they do not being up valid points, they are douches for the simple fact of being a douche. All that matters is what they say, and fuck anyone else that thinks slightly different. That’s not being a human, not being brave.

    And I don’t think that’s you, for the record. Anyways, I appreciate you writing this so I could post my reply in why I disagreed with you. Sorry if I rambled on without making a point, but it felt cathartic for me to post my reply. :)

  4. Narci #

    O, I do all these things, too. And you are certainly not the only out person in the Blogosphere, the only person to risk exposing a part of who you are.

    I just choose not to throw insults at the people who don’t bring joy into my life. There’s nothing “cowardly” about not dumping oil into a fire. There’s nothing wrong with living by the philosophy “Live and let live”. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t have to read it.

    Perhaps the people you’re sniping for being polyannas are simply happy? I genuinely love and respect the people I interact with in this community, and I try to minimize contact with the people who don’t bring joy and worth into my life. Not sycophants, not yes-men, my friends will call me out on my bullshit. The difference between you and I is that after my friends call me out on my bullshit, we’re STILL friends. I don’t make the mistake of thinking standing by my bullshit is bravery.

    Compromise is bravery. Forgiveness is bravery. Politeness is bravery. Respecting your limits is bravery. It’s brave saying, “I’m going to live my life and still care about not hurting other people.” It’s brave tempering anger with compassion, with perspective. It’s brave to let yourself feel sadness and loss when people say hurtful things. It’s brave to give someone the benefit of the doubt. It’s brave to protect yourself when you find you can’t trust anymore. It is brave to admit error. . It is brave as hell to bite your tongue instead of saying something mean. It’s cowardly to go through life pretending you are the only thing that matters.

    Its brave to remember that differences about world of warcraft aren’t worth getting into a “controversy” that might hurt someone and do zero good in the long run. All these tempests are in a teapot, the only thing that matters is the hearts of the people around us.

    It is a quiet, gentle bravery that changes lives, that moves mountains.

    And its been brave of me not to say these things to you before. I’m fucking proud of myself that I live my life with empathy, instead of worshiping at the altar of my own opinions. I certainly don’t feel “brave” saying them now, I simply feel you are unable to understand these things without being told them, and unable to respect them without being told them publicly.

  5. davegt61 #

    While I agree, there is also something to be said though for people being negative just to be overly negative, someone who refuses to take a step back and see another’s side of things. I have seen this a lot too. Its negativity almost to the point of trolling! Its bashing ones own views over the heads of others in such a fashion that it turns you off from those folks’ valid opinions.

    So yes disagree, engage in healthy discussion, but don’t be negative for negative sake, and sometimes there is a happy medium where ideas can coexist.

  6. Noelle #

    The two key lessons I wish every single person on the internet understood:

    - Difference of opinion is not the same thing as being factually wrong; and

    - Anger not only doesn’t solve anything but doesn’t lead to any solutions.

    Also, as Ru says, “What other people think of me ain’t none of my business.”

  7. Syrco #

    I agree with you on this, cause I’ve been thinking the same.

    It sometimes feels like people are afraid of saying their own opinion if it’s very

    different for what others might think, and they know that most people who read it

    won’t agree with them. But I think they should say it anyway, cause it’s

    good to have different opinions and to read about how others see a situation, topic,

    what they feel, think etc.

    But the last few weeks I’ve read many brave posts on different WoW blogs.

    And I actually wrote one myself about druids as shapeshifters which I thought was just a

    normal post about my opinion and that it wouldn’t get much attention at all. I’m used to always writing my own opinion no matter what it is, cause it’s my blog.

    I recieved some really negative comments on the post from people who said that my

    opinion was wrong and ridiculous. Of course it’s ok that they disagree with me, I don’t expect anyone to agree but I’m not used to getting so negative feedback on my posts

    and some were just irrelevant and meaningless like they wrote it all just to be negative and to complain about how I express myself. Maybe people are afraid of getting those reactions, maybe that’s why some people always agree with the rest of the community, maybe they are afraid of being brave.

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