This is simple.
Why don't we tell people they are brave when we would never ever do what they are doing?
There's easy ones. Soldiers are extremely brave, I could never walk into what they walk into every day. Firefighters, police officers, paramedics, doctors, etc. Not at all diminishing how next level these people are because they really are brave.
But why don't we take the kid who is terrified of speaking in front of the class, put them up there, and when they finish stuttering and sweating and shaking tell them THEY ARE BRAVE. Instead they often get a "good job", if that, and a mark. Use the word. Tell the kid he/she is brave.
Why is it that when we get to college and university we never get told we are brave anymore?
Today I saw extreme bravery from college students when they did something that terrified them and just went all in on it. They didn't know what would happen or if they were always right or wrong. But they went for it anyway. Why are we not telling college students how brave they are more? They will likely also LEARN MORE.
You stand up and present in front of 200 people, when I wouldn't, I should tell you that you are brave.
You show up to a presentation when you've had a lot of stuff going on at home and it is super challenging to get up there and talk about sociology or anything at all. Guess what? You are brave.
A child stands up to a bully for a friend.
An adult speaks out against something that all their colleagues support because they believe in it.
A politician says something that goes against what makes money and what supports common decency and humanity.
An athlete stands up for what they believe in.
A nurse goes in for another graveyard shift when she has a family at home and is exhausted.
THESE THINGS ARE BRAVE.
Brave is not right or wrong. Brave is not an opinion or a world view. Bravery is bravery. It's doing something that scares you.
When someone is doing something brave and you wouldn't do it...what the hell is the harm in telling them that?
Tell more people they are brave, I would imagine we have a lot more great people.