Super Heroes In Today's Society
From my friend Faith
- How You Can Be a Hero by Simply Making a Choice
I was inspired to write this article from a comment left on one of my hubs. When we are interacting with others each day, we have a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
You know who they are; chances are you know a few yourself. They hover on the periphery of our sight, shadows overshadowed by the gaudy, the flamboyant and the more vocal.
They have no publicist! They are not sought out by motion picture studios nor do they have an agent. They get up each day and go about the business of living, and at the end of the day, usually bone-tired, they surrender to the seductive song of sleep. The next day they do it all over again, and again, and again.
Newspapers sing the praises of the fire fighters, the police, the EMT’s and others in highly-visible positions who reside in the bowels of danger and horror. We applaud our soldiers and rightfully so; we live vicariously through our sports heroes and marvel at their athletic prowess, and we ooh and awe when we see a movie star during a chance sighting.
Somehow these other heroes go unnoticed and perhaps that’s as it should be. Real heroes do not need, nor do they seek, attention and reward. Their acts of heroism are performed with no thoughts of accolades; their acts are fueled by humility and a sense of values that seem to be diminishing in today’s world.
I speak, of course, about the everyday heroes, and it is high time they receive some recognition.
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE? WHERE ARE THEY?
They are 5’4” and 6’3”. They have brown hair, blonde hair, blue and green eyes. They are overweight and skinny, slow-walkin’ and jive-talkin’. They are the girl next door and the guy so shy he seems to be in pain when his lips move. They live in Topeka, Bismark, Orlando and Sydney. They work in Bangor, upstate New York, West Yellowstone and Austin.
You can find them in Johannesburg, Lisbon, South Wales and New Dehli. Look closely and they may be standing next to you in Quebec City, Victoria, Rio or Dubai.
WHAT DO THEY DO FOR A LIVING?
Very talented folks they are. They bag your groceries, pump your gas, do maintenance at schools and replace your fuel pump. They drive the bus, fix your wiring, listen calmly to your complaints and weed your garden.
Glamour eludes them each and every day; fame is something other people experience. The best they can hope for is to stay healthy and productive during their working years and somehow have enough when work is done to relax and enjoy their remaining years.
WHO ARE THEY?
She is that single mother of three kids who is seemingly up every night taking care of colds and fears. She works a full-time job, barely pays the bills each month, and manages to make her kids feel like they are the most special creations on Earth.
He is that father of two who works a back-breaking job day in, day out, to provide for his family. He doesn’t really like his job, wishes he could find something that doesn’t wear him out so much, but knows he is needed and loved, and that gets him through each day.
She is the nurse who takes care of the ER patients. She sees them come, sees them go, each in pain with fear etched across their faces, and she provides the comfort they so desperately need. She remains calm and compassionate throughout her shift because she knows her patients need her, and that is the only motivation she needs.
He is the high school teacher who dispenses knowledge and wisdom to his students. Handcuffed by bureaucratic inefficiency, he still never loses sight of his goal, to prepare his kids for life beyond the classroom.
She is the abused child advocate who feels the pain in the children she deals with. It is her job to protect the innocent and her responsibilities weigh on her constantly; still, she is there every day, trying to find a way to save, comfort and protect.
He is the poet, the writer, the artist, the musician and the photographer who toils in obscurity for years, never hearing words of praise or a round of applause. He feeds his passion and in the process brings beauty into the world.
She is the latest economic statistic, out of work now for two years, broken, beaten down yet still struggling for a better life. Her compassion is intact, her humanity secure on a foundation poured decades ago during a simpler and happier time.
He is the struggling farmer, carrying on a tradition passed down for generations. Prices have been slashed, the weather is uncooperative, and his sanity is questioned, but still he works that soil daily and knows, in doing so, that he is continuing a noble tradition.
She is that Gulf War vet who can’t seem to find her place in the civilian world since her return. Nightmares haunt her day and night, and skills learned long ago do not translate into marketable skills today. Pride still in place, she volunteers where needed and holds the wolves at bay as best she can.
He is the Peace Corps volunteer, walking through a small town in Ghana, smiling at the children and spreading love to one person at a time. Two years of his life have been promised to this mission and he has no regrets because to him, this is what life is all about.
She is the abused who struggles with trust issues daily and yet is determined to find peace and happiness. There is tranquility of spirit all around her and yet it seems just out of her reach. Still she moves forward….always forward….hoping that someday, somehow, she will tighten her grip on a reality she can accept completely.
SO WHAT IS A HERO
Our old friend Webster tells us that a hero is “a man admired for his achievements andnoble qualities.” I think we can include women in that definition. Someone admired for their achievements and noble qualities; I propose to you without hesitation that heroes are all around us. They face challenges each and every day and they do so with integrity and humility. We do not read about them in the newspaper and a hero is fine with that, for fame and fortune are not their goals.
CAN YOU THINK OF ANY?
Of course you can! They are here, there and everywhere, and they are the backbone of every society.
My dad was one! Five campaigns in Italy during WWII; worked twenty years in a sand & gravel pit to support his family. Never complained! Never!
My buddy Jim is one! Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago, he holds his head high, smiles at everyone he meets, and repeats his personal mantra daily….life is good!
My student Michelle is one! Born with Spina BifIda and wheelchair bound, this young lady has forged a life for herself and you will never see her without a smile on her face. She is now a high school counselor, dedicating her life to helping kids.
My friend Janice (not her real name) is one! Abused by her father, she has scratched and clawed her way through life, finally becoming a therapist so that she can help others.
My friend Debbie is one! A former drug addict, she survived several abusive relationships and now raises her lovely daughter as a single parent. Every single time I see her I celebrate the human spirit.
I have learned humility by being in their presence, and each day I thank God for the experience. They are the true heroes in my life!
THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE
We are many! Each unique and yet so very similar. The longer I live the more I am convinced that each of us has some hero-like qualities. We all face challenges. We all face hardships. We all encounter, during our lifetime, moments when we can rise above our basest of animal instincts and become angels of a higher calling.
It is at that time, when we answer that calling, that we become a hero in the truest sense of the word.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)