- Not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring.
- Not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent.
- Necessitating courage and daring; challenging.
- Beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative.
Some of us fight against the fears that prevent us from living the life that we want. I’ve Defended My Life and argued for the value of being human. I realize after much contemplation the importance of boldness. I’m tired of political commercials where the candidates are afraid to say anything and just attack their opponents and I realized I wanted bold leadership. Boldness is a trait that seems to have been pushed to the side. We honor courage, we honor honesty, we honor integrity. Why not honor boldness?
I fully admit that when I write about boldness I want to write about its relationship to greatness. I want to talk about Alexander and his bold military endeavors. I want to write about the boldness of Operation Overlord that freed Europe from the Nazis. I want to talk about the boldness of Jackson Pollack in flaunting the rules of convention for painting. Unfortunately, that path won’t prove the point I want to make.
Our lives need to be led boldly, not so we become great. I don’t necessarily think there is a direct relationship between boldness and greatness. Living a bold life is important to living a life without regret, focusing on the present, and making everything better instead of becoming content with the status quo.
Bold thoughts and bold actions. I know we tend to look at actions more than thoughts, but action starts with thoughts. Are you thinking boldly or are you thinking in the status quo? And what exactly is a bold thought and if you just think boldly but never act boldly does it mean anything? Well, I do think it means something because it is shaping our perception of the world and the more bold thoughts we have, the more likely we are to take bold actions.
A bold thought can be a thought that runs contrary to the standard convention. Universal health care is a bold thought for America, not so bold for Europe. Organizing a nation to rescue trapped miners is a bold though and bold action for anyplace. Setting a deadline to place a human on the moon was bold thought and action. Boldness leaps where caution steps. Boldness ignores hierarchy and proper channels. Boldness embraces the wild.
Imagine the boldness it took for pioneer families to pick up from the relative comfort of the East and head out west for a chance for a different maybe better life? Bold people make an impact on society. Bold people don’t ask for permission. Bold people refuse to be hampered by societal constraints.
The opening to Star Trek talks about their mission which gets summed up in the line ‘to boldly go where no [one] has gone before’. There is a difference between going and boldly going. To boldly do something means not always doing it the easiest way. It may mean taking the scenic route, or stopping to see and experience something never seen or experienced before.
We need to challenge ourselves to think bold thoughts and take bold actions. Are we eating toast and drinking coffee because that is what we normally do or are we trying our hand at making that Denver omelette even though we’ve never made one before? Are we processing our paperwork at work the way we are because that is how it always has been done or are we rocking the boat and questioning if this is the best way to do it?
Jenny Joseph wrote a magnificent poem that many people have heard or are at least aware of titled “Warning, When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple”. Nothing in the poem seems dramatically bold but I think we can all agree that this woman is intending to live boldly when she is old. Then the end of the poem has the writer thinking that perhaps she can live boldly now, at least a little bit.
To hell with what your neighbors think, live boldly!