There are lots of opposite situations that are parallel but what separates one from the other is just a thin line. Viz: what separates life from death is a moment; what separates light from darkness is but a moment; sadness and joy have thin line separating them- a person can be sadly happy etc. the same thing goes for bravery and foolhardiness. We can either take brave decisions or steps or foolhardy ones. Whichever choice we make at the end we are left with the results of our decisions.

What a man would do and be counted as chivalry may have been foolhardiness, but for the happening of an event –  such man must be successful in his quest – else, he may be adjudged a fool. To be brave is to be bold or strong in the face of fear while foolhardy means bold but rash; unthinking recklessness with disregard for danger. Thus, there’s just a thin line between the two.

“You are mature when you know what is foolhardy and what is courage” _Benard Williams

The question is how do we know if what we are about embarking on is foolhardy or bravery?  We can agree that situations bringing such choices are mostly risky if not life threatening; therefore, we have to make the decision on the spur of the moment. How do we then make a decision within a Nano-second?

Firstly, we need to know if it is right not just if it feels right. That something feels right is a result of the combination of our nascent passion/emotion and self –appointed righteousness. In other words, that something feels right does not make such thing right; thus this kind of life-changing (or is it threatening) decision cannot be based on feeling. It must be based on facts.

Secondly, we have to know if we can make it out alive. That is, we need to know if there would be means of scaling through unscathed or at least not fully scathed. If there is no means of getting out alive, my dear readers, then such venture is foolhardy of the highest order.

Running towards danger is foolhardy. …But so is closing your eyes to it. Many perils becomes less dangerous once you understand their potential hazard” _Aristotle 

Thirdly, we need to know if the person, object or thing that we want to take such “brave” risk for will survive and not be destroyed or lost completely, because if such happens, we may be psychologically scathed permanently or even be blamed for the loss. There will be lots of “what-ifs” thereby making it feel like a foolhardy venture.

Once we are able to resolve the above raised issues, then we can know and decide whether the spontaneous proposed action will be an act of bravery or foolhardiness. However, the problem there is how to consider the above stated issues logically and arrive at a decision within Nano-seconds. To resolve this, we must be aware that there is no limit to what our brain can do just that we put limitations on it due to societal, religion and social realities. 

Finally, to be able to do the above within a second, we have to start practicing the act of loosening up, which involves taking away all limitations and keep on facing our fears and “breaking some rules”. Doing these constantly will condition our mind to act within seconds thus enabling us to make decisions on the spot.        
A. A Adeyinka ( esq)


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