This second post of the weekly writing challenge was inspired by another college essay prompt.
The starting point is the following quote belonging to sculptor Jacques Lipchitz who once said:
“Cubism is like standing at a certain point on a mountain and looking around. If you go higher, things will look different; if you go lower, again they will look different. It is a point of view,”
Being a rather conservative personality my initial answer was that my opinions do not change but pondering some nights on the question I realised that my opinions and perspectives do change and this phenomena is called evolution. So I remembered the following true story:
Ever since being read stories of bravery and heroes, I knew I didn’t want to be catalogued as a coward. I was always the first to jump a fence, a get a vaccination, to answer a teacher’s question, to try a new flavor or to wear a new style. Part of it was in my nature, especially because I was a tomboy, playing several sports, but part of it was an act. I was certain I couldn’t afford to be afraid or else my friends’ and my own opinion about me would suffer. I convinced myself that by this way of being I wouldn’t miss experiences others who feared would and through the years I became what I thought to be fearless.
A display of my fearlessness happened last summer, on a Sunday morning. My sister and I had some free time and she suggested going horseback riding. My parents advised us against going since the temperature was very high that day, which meant the horses would have been restless, and I also had a tennis competition to play in starting on Monday and should not risk developing muscle fever. I would not listen as I thought my sister would believe me to be afraid and insisted on going.
The horses were indeed agitated due to the heat and I was feeling afraid but I did not stop riding in order to be brave. However, as I was riding with the sun in my eyes, an ambulance passed by the ring and the loud sirens scared the horse who galloped away and eventually threw me off. On the ground, hurt, and trying to avoid to be stepped on I didn’t have a revelation or a moment of clarity, as I was too scared to think of anything but getting out of there, but the following days, having to watch the tournament from the side, with a sprained ankle, I had enough time to realise that daring or being courageous did not mean jumping recklessly into anything. It means being smart enough to notice when something is not achievable at the time.
My perspective on bravery did change, and though I had to miss an important tournament and perhaps disappointed my coach and myself at that time, I am glad I learned this difference sooner later than later. I now know that courage is required to make a conscious analysis of a situation and to determine if the risks of an action outweigh its benefits and act accordingly.