Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Saturday, May 16, 2015

5/15/15 RMB Just Add Bravery

5/15/15 RMB Just Add Bravery

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

If courage is carrying on beyond your fears, then bravery might be described as doing so with a motivating force, with more gusto than thought.

On stage at the USC commencement today, Mellody Hobson spoke eloquently to the graduating class of 2015. Of all her words, she implored that these three be remembered “Just add bravery.”

One special lady I know loves the rain. She is Rochelle Loraine, an actor and a magical being. On a rare, cool, southern California day, we sat for hours, as the sky let loose scattered showers, blessing her day.

She has entertained and amazed me, from her first staged sword fights, a four year old wielding a plastic weapon, standing on the couch to fend off the attacking older brother, or her father, or sometimes both at once, because in her imagined world, she was that good; to watching her accept her diploma from the Dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts.

“Just add bravery.”

Every day holds a new adventure, every minute an infinity of possibilities. When we think we know what tomorrow may bring, what will happen in the next moment; that we alone control our destiny, we set ourselves up for a path of derailment.

Each life is an evolution. What we do control is our will, our perspective and our sense of being. The universe takes turns with us. We set in motion events, based on where we choose to place our next step and the attitude to which we meet whatever we find there. The universe responds, then passes the baton back, “your turn.”

Each life affects all life. Three words spoken to her, and each graduate in attendance, resonates in the choices they will make; the steps they will take. Those words, absorbed by hundreds of family and friends, will find their way to droves of people that never stepped foot on the USC campus, who did not stand, or sit in white fold-out plastic chairs, in the light rain shower on this mid-May day.

The choices she has made, she made bravely and they brought her to this day. The result of the choices I have made lead me to being with her, where we came to celebrate accomplishments, while being reminded that there are more adventures ahead, some through darkness, some in light. The point of those three words, was that, whatever the adventure, the outcome will be more fulfilling, exciting, and include more of one’s own self, if you “Just add bravery.”

Bravely onward,


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