Ever done a really brave thing?

As a companion to this thread, Ever been in real danger, which got a lot of really good replies, I thought it would be interesting to know if people have ever done something that in their opinion, was really brave. Not only physical, but also the other kind. :wink:
It can be something no one else knows about, all the way to something that received world-wide attention. The important thing is that you think it was brave.
“Brave” means that no matter how much you don’t want to do a thing, you go ahead and do it. Doing something you want to do doesn’t really count.
Like, umm, surfing. :coo:

Well, there’s this episode in the recent past. I didn’t particularly think of myself as brave at the time, but looking back on it, I guess it would fit your definition.

Well…I donated blood. Which I know seems utterly insignificant, but I’ve got a serious phobia, not of needles, but just ‘medical situations in general’, to the point where going for a checkup or, like, an opthamologists appointment can send me into a panic attack. Also, I’m about a pound over the minimum weight, so a pint is a lot of blood for me. But I’ve done it twice now. Does that count?

Given what you have to overcome to donate blood? It certainly counts in my eyes.

Before your thread, mangeorge, I hadn’t really thought about anything in my life with the perspective of whether or not some course of action was brave. I’ve stood for my principles before, with attendant consequences - but I think almost everybody has done that.

The only thing I can think of that involves what might be regarded as an exercise of physical bravery without a stupidity quotient (perhaps we can call those exclusions bravado - been there a few times) was when I interceded in an attempted rape.

I saw this guy cut a woman’s dress off with a knife, in a shady little residential neighborhood. He obviously didn’t realize my friend and I were sitting in a van ~40 yards away. As soon as I comprehended what was happening, I said something along the lines of, “Jerry, that guy’s rapin’ that woman! Let’s go!”

How long does it take a couple of 20 year olds to do the 40-yard dash, even with car doors involved? Six seconds, maybe? He split around the corner, and we got to the woman. As we stood there with her, he suddenly bolted out of the bushes about 20 yards away.

Knowing that he probably only had a knife, I grabbed a tree limb and went off after him. I chased him for quite a bit, until another friend finally waved down a Houston cop (this was decades before cell phones). When the HPD finally shot him in Hermann Park, they said he was packin’. Accurate reports of perps being armed was not one of HPD’s strong points in the 1970s, so I don’t know.

The first part of this little saga might make the cut for a brave action. I’ve never really thought about it in those terms. The Second Act, i.e., chasing the perp after we’d secured the woman’s safety, was probably more of the same bravado bullshit.

I don’t know, pal - I’ll let you sort it out.

These threads of yours have been an interesting pursuit of “bravery” and “heroism”, mangeorge.

From my own experiences, I’ve a couple of examples that may or may not fit your definition: "no matter how much you don’t want to do a thing, you go ahead and do it. "

[li]My sister’s intervention, and the family meetings leading up to it. This was about ten years ago - my older sister had been using drugs for some time, and had gotten to the point where she had lost her job and her apartment, and was in danger of losing her children. She’d been forced to move back in with my parents, and they were having a hard time dealing with it. I forced the confrontation, which was made all the more difficult by the fact my younger sister knew only that her big sister was sick, and the rest of us were being mean to her. Big sis went through rehab and has been clean for many years now, but hell, I really didn’t want to have to do that.[/li][li]I was in downtown Manhattan on September 11, 2001, and I helped several of my co-workers remain calm and get home. Yes, I know, me and thousands of others. This is the one that may not meet your definition strictly, because obviously I really did want to do that.[/li][/ul]
Now, do I consider myself “brave”? I don’t know. In both of these instances, I did what I thought I should do. At the time, I was not thinking about “bravery”, I was thinking about what I believed my obligations to be.

My dictionary defines brave as “having courage” and courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” By those standards, simply getting through a normal workday with a modicum of integrity and intellectual honesty can be an act of bravery, and I’m sure there are many, many acts of courage by normal everyday people that go unheralded. Does the word “hero” get overused? Sure it does, but maybe it’s a symptom of a people yearning for someone to look up to, for something that appears more important than their “common” lives. The truth is, making choices and taking actions, caring whether those choices are the right choices, and bearing the responsibility when they’re not, requires a degree of bravery seldom reported.

The bravest thing I’ve ever done is have the courage to be myself and stand up for myself.

I don’t know if you’d call this bravery or not, but I have overcome the fifteen years of physical and emotional abuse heaped on me by my so-called father. I’ve gone from being an emotional wreck, and a homeless drug abuser, into being somebody’s husband and best friend.

And I saved my brother from drowning when he was a kid.

Pulled a guy out of a canal but I’m a good swimmer so it wasn’t that brave.

Got into a few fights which I knew I’d lose but fought them anyway due to the pricks being a pack of racists towards someone.

I don’t know if you’d call this bravery or not, but I have overcome the fifteen years of physical and emotional abuse heaped on me by my so-called father. I’ve gone from being an emotional wreck, and a homeless drug abuser, into being somebody’s husband and best friend.

Congrats Mr. brave fishbicycle :slight_smile:

Nothing as cool as Ringo’s!

Unfortunately, the tale I recounted in the other thread isn’t the first time I have been in an abusive relationship and had to leave. That takes some bravery, but it’d be lots nicer to be smart enough not to get into those situations in the first place. Fortunately, I think I’ve finally reached that level of intelligence!

I broke up a fight between my cat and another cat. The other cat was perfectly willing to take us both on together with one paw tied behind his back. I was petrified.

Okay, that’s all I got. Back to the hero stories!

Thanks, yojimbo!

And Ringo, wow! Just, wow! You’re a stand-up kinda guy.

Er, ETF’s horse thing was pretty good too. :wink: Sincerely. I’m scared of horses even when they’re standing still!

One of the most brave things I have ever done I wrote about here on the boards. It involved a Developedmentaly disabled teenager being beaten and chastized by a group home councelor. I wanted to beat the woman sensless, but I took the road less traveled and brought her to court. I did not know the teen, but he could not stand up for himself, and someone had to.

See here if you are interested.

Despite what many would consider an exciting life, I think I am fairly unremarkable.

Honestly, giving blood is right up there. I have made over 200 parachute jumps, but I would do those again rather than give blood again.

I think the one really brave thing I have ever done is give my daughter up for adoption when I was 20. YMMV but I think it was brave.

Hah, if being brave is overcoming fear, then I have been brave an awful lot of times. I am scared of almost everything :wink:

I am terrified of meeting new people and talking to them. However, I have gone out of my way several times to invite new people to go out (see a movie, go for coffee, not in a romantic way at all) and even though sometimes they don’t accept, I give myself a small gold star for trying. Someday I will beat that shyness completely!

I’m scared of driving long distances by myself, but I do it nearly every day. I drove all the way to Minnesota from Ohio this summer, and I didn’t have a panic attack. Granted, the Celexa probably helps, but I was proud.

I get scared of entering new places and trying new things, and I have done it over and over again this year! I am really making progress!

Right now I am in a strange country, walking unfamiliar streets, talking to strange people, with no one here to help, and I am really proud of myself. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to go home, but for a shy, reticent person like myself, I am really happy. In another ten years, doing something so drastic will be more exciting than scary!

I don’t really know if this counts, but 2 of my dogs have a love-hate relationship, and one time the hate side was really strong, so they started a to the death fight. They were outside and so was I, so I grabbed the hose, got close to them, and sprayed in their faces. I got my dad outside, so he grabbed them apart when they were cold and wet. It was terrifying to watch 2 dog, who I love so much, fight trying to kill one another.

Age 4 - I told my dad that I would stab him to death if he ever laid a hand on my brother.

Age 14 - I reported to a teacher that one of my friends was being abused at home. Years later, this friend told me I probably saved her life.

Age 25 - had a heart procedure while conscious. They fed a catheter through my vena cava starting at my groin then slowly moving up my body to my heart. I could feel the catheter stretching my vein wall and compressing other veins in my lungs (ouch) and the final insertion of the Cardisoseal device to close up my patent foramen ovale. I still have no idea why I had to be conscious.

I didn’t feel brave doing any of the above. Usually, I was scared shitless.

I grew up by the Atlantic, so I know riptides and I know when I’m out of my depth. The day I was supposed to leave for my senior year of high school (boarding school) I wanted to get in one last swim, even though we’d had a hurricane earlier that week. Bear with me: this is the “stupid” part, but I’ll get to the “brave” bit in a second.

When the water is covered in foam and you’re right in the middle of it, it’s hard to tell a riptide from the rest of the ocean until you notice that you’ve lost your footing and are rocketing out to sea. Well, I narrowly avoided one, found myself about three feet out of my depth, and was swimming towards shore (here comes the brave part) when I saw – for just a second – someone bob past me. I took another look and it was a little girl, about ten years old. I swam over to her before the rip could separate us, slung her on my back with her arms around my neck, and treaded water while calming her down. I did this by basically ignoring the fact that I had to go back into the riptide to get her (that’s it: that’s the really brave part).

By the time she was calm enough for me to carry her in, we were about 150 yards off shore and the lifeguards still hadn’t seen us. I swam parallel to the shore and got her out of the rip, but we were in five-foot swells and now way way way out of our league. I started heading for shore mostly because it was the only thing to do.

My dad (who had been a lifeguard as a kid) came out to help when he saw me in deep, and when he showed up, insisted that he should take the girl from me. I said no, he should swim in and get a lifeguard. The lifeguard settled the argument by showing up a few minutes later and taking the girl from us. The next guard who made it out sized us up, and when I said “I’m a runner, I’m a local, I’m a swimmer, I can make it,” he took my dad in.

I ended up swimming in on my own and falling asleep from exhaustion a few moments later. When I woke up, I found out her parents had both been reading while their daughter went for a swim, and they didn’t notice a thing until the guard returned their little girl to them. :mad:

But hey, everything turned out okay. Every time I read James Dickey’s “The Lifeguard” though, I think about what would have happened if I had tried to flag down a lifeguard instead of going “vigilante”.