The Bravest Thing

The Daily Post asked me what I think is the bravest thing. The first thing that popped into my mind was that the bravest thing a human being can do is continue to live.

In a world full of such evil and unfairness, I think getting out of bed in the morning is probably the most courageous act of all. Truthfully, most of us probably don’t see it that way though. The first thought that pops into our heads when we wake up isn’t a deep philosophical debate on the meaning of life, the universe and everything. It’s most likely more akin to “what day is it?” We throw our feet down on the floor, wriggle into our slippers and head to the bathroom.

Perhaps the fact that we wear blinders most of the time is necessary or even intentional. Most people don’t like thinking about the evils of the world. They’ll watch the nightly news with all of its atrocities laid out for them to see and think, “Oh, my. Isn’t that terrible?” Then they go on with their lives. Perhaps deep down they even derive some satisfaction in knowing that it wasn’t them. It could be worse; it could have been me.

Humans are innately selfish creatures. Actually, all animals are innately selfish creatures and humans are no exception. Even those of us who do good works like donating time or money to one of a billion causes probably only do it to feel better about ourselves. “I did something good today.” It’s not really about the people you’re helping; it’s about making you feel better for helping them. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just human nature. It’s about survival of the fittest.

So, what do we do when these big issues encroach on our daily lives? We push them aside because there’s just no way that we can tackle them head-on. Some people never really think deeply on their own existence. Some people just blindly follow whatever ideology their parents followed. Some people are okay with the status quo. I am not. I am not okay with not thinking.

Sometimes, I am jealous of those people. Sometimes, I wish that I could just shut off my brain and stop questioning everything. It must be nice to have the biggest philosophical dilemma your encounter in a day be what to have for dinner. Most of the time, I’m glad I have a brain though. I don’t let it collect dust. I thank my brain for allowing me to think things through and choose the course of my own life.

There are days though where the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is cringe. I cringe because I am unemployed and my unemployment is running out. I cringe because I have no sense of purpose in life and even getting up to go to a dead-end job would be better than waking up and realizing I have another long day to fill. Today was one of those days. Today, I was proud of myself for just getting out of bed. I was very brave.