The American attitude of assuming anything good for a group of people is dangerous for a neighboring group develops from basing the foundation of our security on the position of another group. The hypocrisy and moral suicide inherent in this way of approaching the world can cause us to make poor choices and inflate ideas of morality that damage us without even the recognition. We are developing values that cause us more harm than good, but the social praise and economic well-standing allows us to bask in our delusion and continue pressing forward. The values that get the most praise are often associated with money, power, and freedom at the expense of those around us.

What is bravery? Our idea of bravery is tied to the ideas produced from our economic system that focuses on competition and accomplishing at anyone’s expense. Unfortunately, even spilling into our romantic relationships, our criterion for bravery is associated with the amount of money in a man’s pocket, instead of valuing the psyche, spirituality, or emotional intelligence of a man our image of him is placed on what he has produced. While I believe in people being in economic well-standing and respect the accomplishments of entrepreneurs and businesses that have made a life for themselves, my treatment of them isn’t based on the amount of money in their wallet. There is a tendency, from people with wealth and even the people hoping to one day become a billionaire, to inflate our importance and deem ourselves to be in a higher standing than other people while being comfortable denigrating the people that have less. Once we have confronted this dangerous notion of bravery it can become a term signifying intelligence, faith, and independence of thought; bravery becomes a resource that allows us to venture into our psyche and create ourselves anew.

Bravery was once associated with purple medals, killings on behalf of a nation, raping and torture in response to resistance, and today it has become associated with money by any means, no matter how morally corrupt or distasteful if the result is dollars then no harm no foul. While I do believe in redemption and forgiveness, for I have had to be forgiven many times, a man cannot stake his value or his worth on such a fluctuating and unrewarding ideals; many are willing to give their soul, their beauty, and their sanity for an idea of bravery that will corrupt them every time. Nations often transform abhorrent crimes into excuses in order to maintain views of the relationship between men; bravery is compassionate, concerned, respectful, and most importantly a confrontation with ourselves requiring a space of reflection and focus. As communities dedicate themselves to the dollar and a spiritual distance grows between neighbors our idea of bravery becomes more dangerous and unconcerned toward our fellow man; instead of refining a more innovative and introspective definition we pledge our allegiance to images unreflective of reality. Our stereotypes, assumptions, shame, anxieties, and fears have created a noxious paralysis that sustains our distance; the only way through this dark road is a brave compassion. We develop compassion through recognition of our brother’s pain, his loneliness, his fears, and darkness is also yours reflected back; although our minds have developed a bulwark reasons preventing us from hugging our brother.

The consequences of bravery cannot be overlooked, while the rewards come much later, and the opportunities are hour to hour, the potential danger of confrontation causes many people to never leave the other side of their predicament. As we develop an intimate relationship with bravery and our days become an intentioned sojourn through fear, bravery becomes completing a simple task or sublimation against negative thoughts or choosing to rise from bed when the blue demons come hovering over you. Some may accuse me of creating a group of weaklings with no heroic tendency, but I am attempting to glorify the common man and transform his sense of self into a image that encourages progression and independence through the constant fight against the void. Yes, the void; the perennial unknown that man is forced to confront every day and night for all of eternity, the void is the dragon that walks alongside all the beauty and joy that fills our lives forever waiting on its moment. I am attempting to create in myself a psychology that celebrates this hypnotic dragon and looks forward to vanquishing it through my cunning intelligence and improvisational skills. The idea of confronting our dragons will almost inevitably cause a headache and cause our minds to roam and create dragons in order to avoid the one that needs to be defeated. I believe, failure to confront ourselves leads us to a lonely and apathetic life striking terror in any relationship demanding vulnerability, which is every true relationship. Bravery becomes independent, not dependent on any nation; intimate, often happening in the mind; patient, like a plant being nurtured watered by nature; evolving, as in inducing change and elevation. We have grown accustomed to images of bravery associated with fighter jets, moon landings, billion dollar businesses, but a definition of bravery that acknowledges the importance of connection and community will perdure.