I’ve always thought being an astronaut is rather a brave career choice, I wonder what the insurance premiums are like, steep I would imagine. Job description… being fired into space with several tons of high explosive going off just behind your seat, circuit the earth, dock with another orbiting object, go outside into a hostile environment where one mistake could be terminal and then get back through the layers of atmosphere that could destroy your space craft. And yet I bet there is a queue of well qualified sane people lining up for the chance to go. Brave, mad or just adventurous, perhaps all three qualities are required. Imagine what it must have been like for Yuri Gagarin on the 12 April 1961 to be blasted into space, he came back, many did not.
We often to say to children be brave it wont hurt, but this simply raises the possibility that it might. I remember taking my oldest son to the dentist to have an extraction, a perfectly good tooth in the wrong place preventing other teeth from being straight. An everyday occurrence but his first time. Will it hurt he asked, no it will be fine is the kind of reply you might offer. I never asked him whether this reassured him but the trust children place in us enables them to be brave.
It’s easy to brave, from a distance through the television screen. I’m not a brave person, I wouldn’t choose to go and fight in a far off foreign land and yet many do and those who are decorated for their bravery are incredibly modest, I was just doing what any of us would do, is a common response. The bomb disposal expert will probably tell you that training and risk assessment are the key to a successful mission. Would you take that lonely walk to an unexploded device because I certainly would not. The difference is that they do, everyday, unselfishly and probably without a second thought. These are the people who are truly brave, the ones who do rather than talk. We are very lucky such people exist.