When my daughter was still very little, she, like all other toddlers, did not have the balance that we adults usually enjoy and so every once in a while, she would fall down. I believe with all of my heart that if every time your child falls, you rush to them and carry on while they wail, you will end up with a very spoiled child that thinks they need to be babied every time they get some sort of boo-boo or when something doesn't work out the way they think that it should.
That being said, her father and I taught her from a very young age to "shake it off" when she would fall and was not hurt badly. She actually got to the point that upon falling, she would immediately stand or sit back up and literally shake herself better before going on with whatever she was doing prior to the fall.
The result, now that she is older with her own child, she has a higher than normal tolerance for pain and keeps going when she needs to. She puts on the brave face.
I, too, was taught the brave face by my parents, albeit in a different way. I don't know that it is a generational thing, a rural thing, or even an American thing, but I can tell you that we don't see enough of it these days. It seems that every where you turn, someone is complaining because they didn't get something that they felt that they deserved, or something happened to them that they didn't think that they deserved.
Whatever happened to working hard and playing harder? We think that we deserve better than our parents had because they told us that when we were little and somewhere along the line it became encrusted in our brains that we shouldn't have to work as hard for it as they did. Our sense of entitlement has gotten way out of hand. Who do we think that we are?
When my father was raising hogs and growing crops, he went out every day, rain or shine, healthy or sick, sad or glad, to do the chores, work the fields and care for the livestock. One day, when we were working on the farm and there was still a lot to do, he had jumped down from a piece of farm equipment and caught his ring on something. The force nearly tore his finger off and he bled a lot. Putting on his brave face, he wrapped it up in a hanker-chief and kept on working until the job was done.
I'll never forget the time I was working on an Arabian farm east of Carroll and a mare and her colt and I all got our legs tangled up and I went down hard for a serious case of road rash. The mare and colt both ran over my legs and while it hurt, I knew that there was still work to be done. I got up, brushed myself off, cleaned up the blood, and finished what I was doing, which happened to be getting those horses ready to show to a very important customer for a sale. Later on, my boss came down to the barn where I was working after hearing of the accident. I found out, however, that he thought that it was someone else who had fallen. When he found out that it was me, he looked right at me and said, "Yea, but she can handle it." I guess I had my brave face on then.
This community, this state, this country and even this world are facing many tough times in the future. The thing to remember, though, is that we have a future and with a few more brave faces, I believe that it will be better than ever. Put on your brave face, shake off the little stuff and work hard to enjoy life.