Teachings; Wisdom then Love and most recently Respect. Today we will be discussing the fourth teaching which is Bravery or courage.
Bravery is to face the foe, whether internal or external, with integrity.
In the Anishinaabe language, the word literally means “state of having a
fearless heart.” To do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant. Other tribes may say strong heart or strong casing… but the meaning is more important than the words chosen to express it. In my words bravery is to, “ALWAYS do what is right, because it is right and for no other reason.”
Bravery is often thought of as being a single act; an action solicited by a particular sequence of events. Running into a burning building to save the occupants or giving your coat to a street person (or any one of 1,000 similar scenarios). I refer to these, event driven situations, as heroism or altruism. Given the right circumstances every person has the capacity to be heroic or altruistic. I would without thought dive into a swimming pool to save a child (I would not do the same for a grown man unless he was unconscious); it has to do with the level of strength I perceive would be required for either action. One acts heroically or altruistically because one sees a need and perceives they have the ability to fulfill that need. Altruism and heroism are both good things in the world of human interaction; but Bravery is something more. Bravery is way of life, a character trait, which is visible in every decision you make and every action you take.
Bravery in our physical life, involves going through each day accepting our responsibilities, even when it would be easier not to. Bravery is keeping our word, even when it wasn’t given as a promise. Bravery is to openly love someone, even in those moments when they are being unlikeable. Bravery is doing the right thing, even when it is unpopular. Bravery is speaking out against ignorance or injustice, even if you are only speaking to one person. Bravery is opening our hearts to others, even knowing there is always a possibility of being hurt.
Bravery in our spiritual life, involves following our intuition over our intellect… trusting in our Divinity. Bravery is allowing yourself to see the divinity in others, ALL others…Jesus of Nazareth said, “As you do unto these the least of my brothers, so do you unto me.” Again in that Jamesian English he loved so well. Bravery is moving from moment to moment replacing our fear with compassion. In a society built on greed it takes bravery to live every day from a place of love. Bravery is trusting in the unity of all energy and knowing that the universe will unfold only in ways that nurture our highest and best good.
It is takes a fearless heart to continue walking in faith while the 8th Fire exists only as a spark on the horizon of possibility. If we follow the Grandfathers’ Teachings we cannot lose our way and the Red Road will lead us into the time of the 8th Fire , "an eternal fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood".
Have a joyous day.