Recently I have been helping edit my daughter’s college essay. It is an amazing story of courage and bravery when she was put in an incredibly uncomfortable, and some would argue dangerous, situation. As I read her story over and over again, the lightbulb finally went off in my head.

Bravery isn’t an indisputable character trait like kindhearted or witty that some have and other don’t. I believe we are all born with immeasurable bravery inside us, but it lays dormant, like a bear in the winter, until the perfect conditions arrive for the bravery to be unleashed. If I may twist Bob Marley’s words a bit: You never know how brave you are until brave is your only choice.

Rosa Parks was not braver then you, she was met with the perfect conditions to unleash her bravery. Malala Yousafzai is not braver then you either. General George S. Patton proclaimed, “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” What are you afraid of doing/saying/being? You don’t even know how incredibly brave you actually are—I can promise you that! You must trust that bravery lies inside of you, waiting for YOU to create the perfect conditions! Come on, you can do this! Be brave!

With Gratitude,

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