Here is the 2nd article of the Superwomen Series, if you missed the 1st article click on the following link: Superwomen.
Are we born brave or do we become brave?
This is the question I would like to ask some women, especially Ruby Bridges.
On November 14, 1960, Ruby, 6 years old, was the first black child to join the William Frantz Elementary all-white school in New Orleans, Louisiana (U.S.A.).
She had to be accompanied by federal marshals by order of President Eisenhower, because the local police refused to protect her. The first day at school, she spent it with her mother, in the principal’s office, unable to access her class because of protest. In the first year, only one teacher agreed to teach her and Ruby was the only student.
Ruby was not aware of the story that was being played and how this event was going to determine her life. This accomplished woman is now leading the Ruby Bridges Foundation created in 1999.
Far from having traumatised the child she was, she fights for "tolerance, respect and recognition of all differences".
Some people can therefore show exemplary courage without realising it, and that from their youngest age.
I often say that courage comes from determination. When you want something more than anything in the world, you fight for it, sometimes going beyond the prejudices and the misunderstanding of your loved ones.
It reminds me of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689) who renounced her throne and country for her religious convictions. Her desire for freedom dictated her decisions and neither her family nor her compatriots could restrain her. A fate all drawn and glitzy but not the one she wanted. She has shaken up propriety and monarchy, accepted criticism; when you know what you want, and you are determined to obtain it, nothing seems impossible.
A destiny is chosen for us but we decide another one, that’s courage for me!
Like Christine, everyone can discover courage in themselves, just have the right motivation, a dream that makes you fight to achieve it.
Of course, this is reminiscent of Martin Luther King's famous speech of August 28, 1963, "I have a dream". Being sure of your right and your convictions to face the whole earth, to brave hate and stupidity, to follow the path that we trace despite storms.
I like this quote: Grow through what you go through.
In their song Superheroes (song at the end of the article), the band The Script gives a definition of superhero that I particularly like:
When you've been fighting for it all your life
You've been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power
This assurance in my decisions and choices have determined my courage several times in my life. Not to mention respect and love that I have for myself. I refuse to accept a future that is not mine, a future dictated by relatives, society, stereotypes, politics, religion, the media ...
Love yourself, respect yourself, listen to yourself, accept who you are, and pursue your dreams. This is for me the combination of courage. So, what are you waiting for releasing your bravery and for becoming your own superhero!!