Cowardice is lack of bravery according to the Oxford Dictionary.Cowardice is synonymous with fearfulness and
Coward is seen everywhere that bravery can be seen- For every brave human that stands up and fights, there is one coward sitting down and not getting involved.
Cowardice is sticking to what is safe to the peril of the people surrounding oneself. It does not speak up, it does not care, and it buries its head in the sand. It likes the status quo, even if the status quo is detrimental to oneself.
Cowardice puts a veil over oneself, and tries to live a lie. It pretends to be something its not in order to remain in the shelter of privilege. Cowardice only lives the truth in the shadows, where it thinks no one is looking. It presumes it will never be caught, only to find out that their Creator already knows the truthand, it comes out to their fellow humans eventually.
Cowardice sticks to the beliefs a person has had since childhood because those beliefs are safe, regardless of who they hurt in the end. If those beliefs are from a place of privilege, a person’s cowardice will drive them to force their beliefs onto others to ensure they conform. Cowardice does not care who it hurts, nor the damage that is done, so long as their beliefs are still held dear and remain at the top.
Cowardice occurs when people with privilege lord over others. We’ve seen the fruits of their attitudes this past couple of months: White police officers shooting black men for no reason, straight Christians calling for more death and destruction on the LGBTQIAA community, and people using the Brexit vote to commit crimes against immigrants and non-white skinned humans in their country.
Cowardice lives on the internet. It exists when people use the safety of a screen and keyboard to harass people all in the name of attention. Their pure goal is to gain attention by talking down everyone, especially those of groups most vulnerable. How much cowardice exists on pages that are filled with toxicity, and want to guarantee a minority group looks bad? Too many, and they are all examples of cowardice.
Bravery, on the other hand, is using one’s privilege to stand up for the marginalized. Instead of joining in the bullying, the brave person puts the bullies back in their place and ensures they keep to their own misery. Bravery tells their fellow male, white, heterosexual, cisgender, and/or neuro-typical neighbours that they are wrong to discriminate against people who are different. Bravery is when a white person tells their fellow white men and women they cannot pinpoint a person for death because of their skin colour. They would tell their xenophobic countrymen that immigrants aren’t the enemy, but our neighbours and
Bravery is not afraid of one’s beliefs being challenged, nor changing their beliefs if they prove those beliefs are unfounded. Bravery chooses to try and transcend fear, and hatred in order to show mercy and love to their fellow humans. Bravery is a good steward, uses its financial powers for good, and uses its voice to love and serve others.
Bravery is looking in the mirror and accepting oneself. Bravery is stepping out of the closet, and leaving false images and identities behind. Bravery is saying, “I am black,” or “I am gay,” or “I am transgender,” or “I have Asperger’s Syndrome.” Bravery is the person who says in public and in private to those sentences, “That is okay,” or “I do not understand , but I am willing to try.” Bravery does not sit still, it does not hide, and it does not not stand by.
It can take a lot of years to be on the side of bravery, and seconds to give way to cowardice, and a dangerous situation to regain bravery again. It will take years, perhaps longer, to repair the damage that cowardice has done. Somethings can be rebuilt, but people cannot be replaced. Normalcy cannot be truly restored.
Cowardice wants the status quo remain in tact and will fight to get things back to the way they were, unaware that such plans only set the stage for such terrible events to happen again. Bravery tries to move forward and make things better so such disasters and injustices do not happen again. Bravery wants things to change now, yet is willing to be patient knowing change is slow.
Bravery does things in spite of fear, while cowardice does things because of fear.
Who will you be today? Who will I be today?