Hero: an individual that is admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities - Google
I’ve had many heroes in my life, none which have yet to wear a cape. They’ve come in all different shapes, sizes, genders, and ages. It’s funny, for as many times as I’ve searched for a hero, I’ve had a hard time finding one. They often pop up when I least expect them, in the most unusual places. Their timing seems to be impeccable. Sort of like a “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” scenario. I guess heroes are much like teachers as well then, aren’t they?
I don’t view a hero as others might in the traditional sense. I think facing the fears that can plague any of us are heroic. People who dare to speak about things that nobody else will, or who can put their emotions out there for the world to see can be brave. Courage comes in many forms, it’s not always glamourous and it isn’t always leaping over tall buildings. For many, it can be simply leaving the house, or making a phone call.
In addition to tackling what scares us, I believe any act of selflessness, or kindness without possibility of repayment can be heroic. I think an individual who can make us see the potential in ourselves is a hero. I know, I’m afraid there’s no damsels in distress, no carrying a cool weapon by your side, and no superpowers. Sorry. I know Hollywood would have us to believe that heroes are incredibly physically beautiful, athletic, and beyond charming, but they aren’t. Most are noble though, and you certainly don’t need a pretty face or six pack abs to fit that bill. As a matter of fact, you’re probably a hero to someone and you don’t even know it.
Would you change the way you act, react, or respond to circumstances in life if you knew you were a hero? I would say most of us would never consider ourselves to be of that caliber, but think about this another way. Are you a mentor, teacher or leader? Not all of those are necessarily heroes, but the good ones are. Heroes not only save us from burning buildings, but also save us from something potentially far more devastating. Ourselves. Most of my heroes have saved me from myself more than once.
Heroes, in my opinion, are there to lift us up when we fall. To offer an positive example, encouragement, or a kick in the butt when we need it. They offer the unconditional, non-judgmental love that humans should be affording each other in times of distress or need. They lovingly guide and take the necessary time, nurturing us to grow. I think that’s something we’ve all done for someone at one point or another, and has been done for us.
We’re all quite capable of changing a life for the better, including our own. There’s not necessarily a uniform or outfit necessary (although if you want to wear a cape, I won’t stop you). So what can you do today or tomorrow to be a better hero? I say a better hero, because you honestly already are one. Stop thinking of yourself as helpless and start thinking of yourself as helpful.
Help, dare, encourage, save, and teach yourself and the others around you.
Please hero freely and hero often.
Let me be your tour guide to life. I'm the author of "Learning to be Human Again", and just like you, I'm still happily trying to figure this wonderful life out.