As a former veteran law enforcement officer I subscribe to several law enforcement groups on LinkedIn. (You can leave law enforcement, but law enforcement never leaves you.)

Someone posted a question that simply asked, “What makes law enforcement officers brave?”

I thought I would share my answer with you:

Bravery is NOT the absence of fear, but the refusal to be ruled by it. And it’s not just the emotion of fear that has to be ignored. Bravery is the refusal to allow any of your emotions to rule you.

Bravery is when you know who you are, believe in what you can accomplish and act upon it.

Bravery is when the majority of the people around are emotionally responding to the circumstances and worry about what will happen to them, and you refuse to listen to or join the crowd

Bravery is when your values rule your decision making, when outcomes are not the primary focus of your life, but living life correctly is.

The result is that you wind up moving forward as the others run away. You suddenly do things that others think are impossible.

It isn’t the impossible you wind up doing, but the unthinkable or the unimaginable.

Bravery is doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, regardless what others think or say.

Bravery isn’t reserved for military personnel, firemen or law enforcement. It’s available to all.

Bravery can be found in the child who stands up for his classmate that is being bullied. It’s found inside the teenage girl who loses her boyfriend because she won’t have sex with him. It’s found in the man who loses his job because he won’t forsake his Foundational Core Values.

You will recognize it by the absence of selfishness and self preservation, and the appearance of selflessness and empathy in your life.

The question shouldn’t be why are law enforcement officers brave; it should be why aren’t you?

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4 Comments on “Bravery

  1. The most important idea you have identified is “doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.” In my 20’s a boss said to me, “You don’t have the courage of your convictions,:” because I did not speak up when they were doing something I thought was unethical. I resolved then to “be brave” in every situation that went against my values. That decision has served me well, and I have a clear conscience in retirement. Thank you for reminding us to be “brave.”

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