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A question of bravery

Do you think people with a serious illness are brave (as the press often describes them)?


This week’s Thunk was an interesting one which called us to consider both the nature of bravery and the nature of illness.

32% of you said that people with serious illnesses are NOT brave, with a range of reasons given.  Notable explanations included:

“As crude as it may sound, these people have no choice but to accept that they have this condition. I think "brave" would be the wrong way to describe them as this implies that they have done something honourable out of choice - they don't have the choice, they simply have to accept it.”  Kevin Rebello, Year 9, Castille.

“No, because they are in pain and people being bullied are in pain and people don't think they’re brave.”  Thomas Nadin-Hepburn, Year 7, Alexandria.

A resounding majority - 68% - disagreed and said that people with serious illnesses ARE brave.

“I think anyone who struggles with a physical or mental illness is brave. Having an illness has a big impact on your life and the people around you. If I was told I was going to have to battle through a serious physical illness, I would be terrified. Imagine having to spend the majority of your year in a hospital having constant tests done on you as well as having needles injected into you. In order to fight through such a terrifying thing, you would have to be brave. Or a mental illness, like depression. Imagine how hard it would be having to drag yourself out of bed every morning and walk around with a fake smile all day. Anyone who has the strength and courage to fight through that has to be brave.”  Kathleen Freeman, Year 7, Avalon.

However, some of you took a considered position on the fence:

“Some people with serious illnesses are brave, but not all and not in exactly the same way as the press describes. They do not choose to be ill, so the very fact that they are ill does not mean that they are brave - it could happen to anyone. It depends what they do about it. If they sit moping and doing nothing productive or useful, then I in no way consider them brave - in fact the opposite is true of them. However, if they were to make the most of the time they have left and undergo dangerous treatment if needed then they are brave. Their braveness depends on how they deal with the situation - not the situation itself.”  Lois Clark, Year 8, Sempringham.

In terms of participation, results are as follows:
1st – Alexandria (31%)
2nd – Avalon (28%)
3rd – Sempringham (26%)
4th – Castille (15%)

As always, thank you for your entries, I very much enjoyed reading them.

Miss Nicholson


    The Priory Federation of Academies, Lincoln