I don't know if it was the horror shows that I so loved to watch or some unknown phobia, or the meticulous nature of the lizard vocals on the wall, I was afraid. My parents were out shopping and I, their sole 12 year old kid, was stuck alone at the house. Loneliness often unsettled me, something inside told me that when alone, I become some kind of a target for all the unknown forces of nature that my mind thought existed. I ran outside to my neighbour's house and there I felt peace. But something inside was pounding against me. I didn't realize that 'bravery' had a physical entity. .
That day when my parents returned and found me at the neighbour's house, they asked me what happened and I told them my tale. My father knew that I was no 'Bruce Lee' and that my resolve was weak. I always tried to fend of situations involving risk or that could lead to failure of any kind. However small it might be, I always thought failure could be averted simply by procrastination. Not that I was too much aware of it, but I blatantly refused to participate whenever opportunities to try new things came along. I thought I was playing it safe. I never took part in a stage drama because the sight of the crowd would frighten me, I fled on my first day of swimming because the water freaked me out, even when I was asked to lead the class for the parade I gave excuses and sat back to avert any possible embarrassment. But that pounding inside me continued.
When I asked my father what that 'pounding' was, he looked at me and smiled. He told me that I was brave and that 'something' inside was nothing but the bravery urging me to take the right step, to command my life, to be a leader. I was awestruck with his comments for I knew that Alexander the Great was brave, Tenzing Norgay was brave, whereas me, surely was not brave. I was puzzled and asked, "Father, can a man still be brave when he's afraid?"And he said, "It's the only time a man can be brave, son.