Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back to the Issue of Bravery

"You cannot be wise and brave at the same time." from the book Masterpiece by Elise Broach

My son told me this this morning. It's from a book he's just finished and he was musing about the truth of the statement.

It made me think of the last post I wrote about bravery, and about something I am considering doing to push forward - past the conventional process of querying - in an effort to get published. It's a wild idea - a hugely brave idea. But maybe not wise. Unless it works out. And then it would be awesome.

It's a true statement, I think. In the comment section on the other post we discussed the idea that it's bravery if it works out... it's stupidity if it doesn't.

What do you think? Can you be wise and brave at the same time? Or is bravery the absence of wisdom? (in a good way)


  1. I do not think that bravey is the absence of wisdom any more than I think bravery is the absence of fear. I think they may often go together. Having the wisdom to understand what you have to do, regardless of the consequences, the risks or the fear, can cause you to act brave. In the absence of that wisdom, can actions be considered brave at all?

    I really like this topic and may well "borrow" it for a post of my own in the near future.

    I admit to being fully (and it sounds like blissfully) ignorant of the publishing world. But, I am a firm believer in the idea that the conventional process is not always the right one - and I give my clients that advice with regularity. Calculated risk taken with an understanding of the goal and the likelihood of attaining it, can be a very good thing. Good luck!

  2. I read this quote once:
    Half the things that people do not succeed in are through fear of making the attempt - James Northcote

  3. Patti - I love that quote! I'm adding it to my new "favorite quotes" blog. Thanks!

  4. Tony - I have to admit that in life in general, I'm not in agreement that bravery is the absence of wisdom. Some of the hardest things I've ever done have been "the right thing" to do - things that took bravery to stand up for what was right.

    It is an interesting discussion, though, and one I've had fun talking about with my family.

    I agree that sometimes having the wisdom to see the consequences may then require bravery to act. And not being wise leads to foolishness.

    I look forward to reading what you have to say on your blog in relation to Christ and life as opposed to publishing!