Words are important. I like them. I study them. I focus on their meanings. When I misuse a word like peek vs peak or pique — which I very well know the difference between them all — I disappoint myself. In my mind grammar & spelling will always be important and I don’t like how society or technology might try to dumb us down. Why? Because if we give away our ability to know when and how to use words correctly, this bleeds havoc into society in any number of ways.

Which brings me to my least favorite, incorrect usage of the word “Brave.” Now you might disagree, and I’d love to hear your respectful opinions, but here’s the thing:

Brave to me? That’s the soldier called to follow a chain of command and fight in a war who hasn’t been properly supported by his government with a plan and is without necessary, state-of-the-art defense equipment.

Brave is the fireman who goes into a burning building to save a human he’s never met.

Brave is the police officer who is puts on a uniform that has been disrespected by loud voices who can afford private security — but will call the police the minute their personal private detail isn’t available and expect a response — which they get because that brave officer is doing their job.

Brave comes in many forms. But here’s what it’s not: Posting a semi-clad or naked photo on line. Posting aggressive comments guised in anonymity.  Pushing agendas and opinions without having the strength, fortitude and respect towards others to calmly really listen to all sides of a conversation. 

These aren’t characteristics of brave behavior. Maybe, respectively to the series of examples above, it’s pride in oneself, bullying, and emotional vs. fact-based political opining because it’s easier than doing the work to drill down into complex issues that aren’t black and white and cannot possibly be addressed in 2,200 characters or less.

I’m going to expand on other words that have been co-opted, but I’m out of space.  So for now…What do you think? Has the word “brave” been co-opted? Do you agree with any of this or disagree? Please tell me, how do you define brave? 

I’m @DianGriesel aka @SilverDisobedience