But tough people do. It’s a great statement, and it’s more relevant now than ever before. We’re living through an uncertain time in world history. The natural reaction is fear — a response that’s simply part of our DNA. Everything in our culture is now fanning the flames of fear, but we do have a choice.

American Flag

The Choice to Be Brave

Fear is a reaction. But bravery is a choice. We can choose to be courageous in the midst of the battle, and in spite of our fear. The Scottish poet, Sir Andrew Barton, put it this way:

“Fight on my men, fight on.
I am hurt, but I am not slain.
I will lay me down and bleed awhile,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.”

The Power of Choice

The power of choice is all determining. It’s one of the greatest capacities of being human. It allows us to overcome circumstances and become something more than we thought we could be.

The sad truth is that many Americans have never had to choose bravery. They’ve been born into an affluent country with plenty of people and governments around to take care of difficult times. But this is still the home of the brave. We can choose bravery daily, moment by moment, and thus, transform the circumstance by transforming ourselves.

Perhaps William Ernest Henley said it best: “I’m still the master of my fate, the captain of my soul.”