Often I read that being brave isn’t about being unafraid, that you can only be brave if you are afraid. I would like to believe this, and it is obviously more useful to believe you can act bravely without feeling you have to wait to feel unafraid, or would have had to have been a braver person in the first place. I can’t help thinking, though, that it isn’t exactly what we mean when we talk about someone being brave, and it isn’t what we’re going to be looking for when deciding who should lead us into battle. Maybe there were other battle leaders besides Boudicca who were far more frightened than she was, but it is her bravery I’d have been counting on in the fray. I can’t help noticing, too, that some people are kinder than others. I think even those of us who might not be as kind as others ought to try to be kind, and we can model our behaviour on the kindest people around us, but I don’t think it takes anything away from someone’s kindness if it is so natural to them to be kind that they would find it harder not to be kind. People can be more or less sociable, too, without anyone saying you are only sociable if you see people when you really don’t want to, without anyone saying it isn’t friendliness if you actually like hanging out with me. I don’t want to only see people who are making a particular effort to see me but would much rather not. Having said that, it is very nice of anyone who ever did make a particular effort to see me and I hope it turned out better than you expected.
These are paragraphs without essays or books to go in.