On Thursday afternoon a friend and I took a walk along the tiny paved strip running along the sea from Muizenburg to Danger Beach in St James. I think it’s renamed danger beach for very apparent reasons- the waves are supposedly mad there, with no patrolling life guards.
The wind on our walk was insane, with the sea spraying us with disgusting foam along the way. We shrieked as we tried to dodge it.
From behind us a chorus of ‘excuse me Aunties’ announced a bunch of surfer boys ranging surely between the ages of 10-16, trying to rush past us, heading straight for the ocean up ahead. Soon after they all disappeared into the sea- emerging on top of the waves. They were fierce and fearless, leaving my friend and I gobsmacked. Still looking at them riding the waves, my friend muttered: “they are so courageous”. “Hm, it’s true they’re not afraid, so they are likely more brave than courageous, in fact very brave for sure”, I responded. I further explained that for me, bravery is showing immunity to danger and fear. It’s a display of flagrant disregard for danger and fear. Courage sees and acknowledges fear and danger, and looks with love and compassion.
But what if courage and bravery work together?
My life demands that I face inner demons which threaten to swallow me up. In these moments it would behoove me to call on courage to help me face with love my fear of these demons, and bravery to take my hand and, with knees shaking, walk me through the fire of fear.
Courage does not immunise me from fear and pain. Rather I feel every bit of it, but if I desire to go through it, I must call upon bravery to help me take deliberate steps through it. Bravery guided by courage leads to wise action, whereas bravery on its own may recklessly and intentionally ignore danger.
Since committing to working through my fears, I will keep my heart open, and let Courageous Bravery be my tool. I recognise my demons. I see you there. I am going to be wisely brave. I am afraid, but it is time. Lean on Love Makgathi, and Be brave. Courage has my back.