My Story Your Story: What made you brave and other meanderings…

Among the best inventions of the 21st century are tagless t-shirts and paint cans with Tupperware-tops and pour spouts.

I�m also a big fan of squeezable jars of mayo and honey. For those who were born pre-pre-circa 1960, being able to flip the top, instead of unscrewing the lid is a really big deal.

When I go to the grocery store, I still marvel over swirls of jelly and peanut butter in the same jar, but my friends tell me that�s been around forever. I guess I don�t get out much.

I love it that tools today come in purple, hot pink and neon green. There�s something sexy about working up a sweat over a fashionable hot pink Phillips screw driver or driving a nail with a chartreuse hammer. All I need now is a stylish pink and purple plaid tool belt and, if I can find one, I�ll wear it everywhere.

Speaking of innovations, I�ve often wondered why toilets haven�t changed since they were invented.

Plungers really haven�t changed much either. Sure, they are well-hidden now days with fancy turn-style covers, but plungers function as they always have.

And why is it that installing a light switch is so painstaking. That century-old task should be as simple as screwing in a light bulb. Yet it still requires an act of God, three Hail Mary�s, at least two Our Father�s, followed by a litany of expletives to successfully say, let there be light.

Instead of peeling black and white plastic coating with a steak knife from the kitchen drawer, and then twisting and turning miniscule copper wires, it should be a snap.

In this Skype, iPad and nanotech age, electrical work should have evolved by now to a simple task. If room fresheners are plug-ins; why not electrical switches?

Doing electrical work requires a certain amount of courage. I am not a particularly brave person. Fear usually gets in the way.

Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a proponent of facing fear, said �Do one thing every day that scares you.�

It takes courage to follow her simple instruction and go where we have not ventured, whether it is traveling to new lands, going back to school, moving to a new place, learning a new skill or speaking truth to power.

I wish I were braver, like the window washers who do skyscrapers for a living and soldiers who earn their paychecks in war zones around the world. I admire their courage and know that if I only had a smidgen of what they have, I could be doing so much more.

I�m curious�what has made you brave?

A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Bosco Damon is a national award-winning columnist. Her writing has won first-place in competitions of the National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women. In the 2009 and 2010 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contest, Paula�s columns took five first-place awards. To contact Paula, email, follow her blog at and find her on Facebook.

2011 � Copyright Paula Damon.

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