August 20, 2009 § 3 Comments

i am thinking about bravery. you know for so long i hated the word brave. because i connected to weakness…oh…that is so brave you… especially when it was connected to something as simple as going to the west bank or congo. srsly. if i want points in the world. it is not from the act of going to some of the most amazing places i have ever been. ppl live there everyday. they love, and eat dinner, they worry about their kids, they take the trash out, they dance at weddings. nothing extraordinary except everything.
but now i think i am going to own words like bravery and courageous. courage from the word coeur heart. and that is what i imagine bravery is. like malcolm x who died to night and my heart sinks for a moment every time he dies…i have to teach aza that i am malcolm x stand up that the kids do at the end. maybe that is what courage is: the balance/ the movement between desperation and confidence. when you know the world has so much evil in it. but you are still willing to go out into it. in part of a desperation to survive and in part in a confidence that you can not only survive but evolve (grow?)


§ 3 Responses to courage

  • NaksibendiMuslimah says:

    i have been told i am “so brave” so often in my life and always been embarrassed or annoyed by it. how is it brave to live thru what i live thru? that’s just… living. i didn’t “do” anything to live, to survive, it just happened by the will of God that i didn’t die. and i cannot help but to think of women that have lived thru so much more, trauma upon trauma upon trauma, than i have. i cannot imagine being a Palestinian mother, for example, wondering every time my children step out the door if they will never come back alive. i cannot imagine being a mother in Uganda, dying of AIDS or suffering from fistula and knowing that i am powerless to stop rebels from raping my daughter and then dragging her along with them, or from forcing my son to shoot me. even many of the women in my life that i know, i know that i have not done the things they have done, dealt with the issues they have dealt with. heck, i haven’t even picked myself up to get an education, in great part out of fear, so how could i be brave? but mama, i look at you, and i do see brave, i do see an amazing woman who has done things, who has fought. and who is raising a brave daughter. 🙂

  • mama says:

    but no aaminah i think you are very brave! see, how you feel is how i used to feel. like damn i have never done anything like that! but then i realize you can be brave and ma3 allah you survived. no no. i realize it is not the amount of trauma you have endured. it is the endurance itself. and how you endured.
    bravery i think is a wilingness to be yourself, to keep returning to your self, in the face of fear. it doesnt mean that you dont flinch. (i never trusted folks who dont flinch.) idoesnt mean that you are not afraid.
    it is audre lorde: we were never meant to survive. so the fact that we are surviving. that is bravery. to survive in the face of genocide…
    and it also occured to me that malcolm x didnt go to college.

  • This is so very embarrassing to read. It’s embarrassing because I see two women who have more balls then I could ever hope to have. I see people like Mama who have the guts to seek out the evil in this world and do something about it, and about the best I can muster is to sit here in my safe American home and grumble about things wondering how many of my tax dollars went to kill innocent people today. I admire you both more then you could ever know. I think bravery in a literal way is defined by people willing to take risks of personal or emotional injury in order to make this world a better place for others. I wish I had a fraction of what you guys have.

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