One of my favorite times of the day is in the morning as I wake up. I’m somewhere between drowsy and coherency. I drift along paying no attention to anything in particular. The quiet of the morning lays on me like a warm blanet as I prepare to leave the land of limbo knowing in a few minutes I’ll stir and join the land of the active living.
In my waking period this morning, I heard a comment on the television that resonated with me. The speaker said, “Real heroes are those people who go about their normal day and rise to the occasion when they need to.” In my half awake state, I agreed. There are heroes all around us who we rarely recognize.
Instead we hear about soldiers, police, and firemen who protect us from ourselves. Thank God we have people like them who are willing to do these kinds of jobs, but do they do them to serve the community or do they do them for the adrenalin rush they feel every time a call comes in and they spring into action? My Dad was a volunteer fireman for over forty years, and my ex-husband did this work for over twenty, so I recognize the look in their eyes when they are called into action. Like I said, I’m glad they did what they did, but are they heroes in the true sense of the word?
Or are heroes those who live good lives with love in their hearts for everyone who crosses their paths. Are heroes the volunteers who teach our children the joys of outdoors through scouting and 4H Clubs? Are heroes people who check on their elderly neighbors, helping where they can without being asked? Are heroes people who give rides to people who can’t drive or aren’t lucky enough to have a car? Are heroes the nurses who are dead on their feet and still find time to give you a genuine smile?
You’ll never hear about people like this on the six o’clock news because for some reason the people who own the networks seem to think inspiring a culture rooted in fear sells more advertising. The stories of everyday heroes are just not exciting enough.
Personally, a hero for me is one who opens a door for my husband as he rolls through in his motorized wheel chair. A hero for me is a person who wears a smile and has a kind word for others even when they carry pain with them everyday. A hero for me is someone who turns a personal tragedy into a positive outcome for someone else.
We are all connected, people. We need to appreciate the heroes in our lives who don’t wear medals or are awarded plaques. Medals tarnish. Plaques are thrown in the attic into a long-forgotten box. But a smile or a kind gesture will live on–sometimes forever.