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Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Grade (So Far): Audacity

audacity: boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional beliefs, etc.

Given that definition, how would you grade yourself (so far) on audacity? This one has given me more food for thought than most of the previous 31 attributes from this series.

Specifically: Which adjective (confident or arrogant) deserves more weight when considering how boldly I've disregarded personal safety? Can skydiving, para-sailing, white water rafting and other activities I've tried reasonably be said to disregard personal safety? How about chasing a shoplifter down the street? Confronting (and then chasing) a petty thief lifting a friend's wallet from her purse? Assaulting the individual who hurled an anti-Semitic slur at non-Jewish yours truly? Which of these bold acts were confident, which were arrogant and which gives me more chits for audacity?

And then we arrive at the much more problematic "...disregard for conventional beliefs..." part of the definition of audacity. Just wading through the persona I've constructed around being "unconventional" gives me a migraine.

If only the definition had stopped with "boldness or daring" - would have made it much easier to give myself a nice "B" had those messy nuances not been in the way. I'll take my "C", keep the stories about my disregard for unconventional beliefs to myself and add this attribute to the pile needing attention.       

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