‘Fortune favours the bold’- I was reminded of this great quote this morning after seeing it on a friend’s status on Facebook. It’s a snappy message from Mr Virgil, but it packs a punch and I’m glad he thought to write it down all those years ago because it’s something that we can all relate to at times when lack of courage, or fear are holding us back, our self-doubts hampering us from moving on. It’s also happens to be one of the very few quotes that I can actually remember due to the fact that it is only four words long, which is another reason that I like it. Whilst we’re on the subject, here’s another from my heroine Dorothy Parker, and yes of course I had to look it up.
‘I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound – if only I can remember the damn things’
Througout my life, I’ve aspired to being as bold as I possibly can and for the most part it does seem to have paid off. Some more considered folks, and those friends who know me well, may argue that its more a case of ‘fools rush in’ rather than bravery and courage on my part but I would argue then, that if I were not to have been bold, where would I be sitting right now? I doubt very much that I would be living here in Indonesia for example, nor would I have taken the leap of faith and got married for the third time last year and moved to the other side of the world. I would never have lived in so many places, nor taken a certain risks or indeed done many of the things in the past and now in the present that have so enriched my life. I’ve lost count of the times that friends have said to me ‘oh you are mad, absolutely mad, I would never dream of doing that’.
If boldness is seen as madness, then mad I may very well be, but I’m not too proud that I can’t admit to there being times when, on boldly treading where others have feared to go, I’ve managed to wade straight ( ankle deep) into a pile of steaming shit. Hey, I’m a human, not an angel.
I’ll cut to the chase now that I’ve you given my preamble on boldness and confess to the fact that I’m not feeling inclined to be bold today, well not in the ways that I describe above. What is this volte-face? I can see you wondering. How can this woman brag about her boldness one minute and then turn into a cowardy custard the next? Well, the answer is that I am taking the bold step of not writing about something that I would normally have been keen to share with you. I never said that boldness is about being unconsidered, nor about lack of caution. Boldness can also be borne out of intuition; there can be elements of pragmatism to it too.
This is the month of Ramadam and for Muslims throughout the world, it is a month of fasting throughout the daylight hours and for prayer. The whole pace of Jakarta has changed in the past two weeks; it has taken on a different feel. Something happened yesterday afternoon that made me feel quite angry and when I read more about it this morning on the Internet, I became angrier still. In the normal course of events, I would relate what it was that happened and give you my thoughts on it, but I feel disinclined to for fear of the consequences. I may be bold, but I hope that I am not a fool.
All religions have their fundamentalist elements and within them, those who see their role in terms of action and ideology. In every religion the world over, there will always be the few rotten apples who seek to impose their views and rules upon others, via acts of violence and hatred.
For me to tread carefully therefore, is not to stand still or in anyway eschew boldness, it is to be sensible and aware of where I am living and for me to know my place here as a visitor. That is what I signed up for when I moved to Indonesia
( What I did not know however, was that I would also be signing up with the worlds slowest internet provider ever. A company that proudly calls itself ‘Speedy’ – I would laugh if it wasnt’ for the fact that this post has taken me over an hour to post on the Internet)
‘The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts’ Bertrand Russell.