With which hero did you spend your childhood? Was it a traditional hero such as Superman or Batman? Maybe it was a less traditional one like the Lone Ranger or Gomer Pyle. Or was it your dad or granddad, mom or grandma?
Heroism doesn’t require dramatic acts of courage or skill. Although many of our well-known heroes demonstrated bravery and sacrifice within military service, many have not. Becoming heroic definitely doesn’t necessitate the three miracles required for sainthood.
Happily, small acts of citizenship will make you a hero to someone. It’s always exciting and invigorating to see heroism in everyday life. Recently, I saw a news story where a teenager begged her mother to stop the car in order to check on someone by the side of the road who was lost and dehydrated. I’ve also witnessed the activities of a local young man who spends all of his spare time assembling and sending packages of food to troops stationed overseas.
The best part of heroism is that its persistence is entirely irrelevant. Better yet, the hero doesn’t need to become aware that he or she is one in order for heroism to occur.
We have endless thrilling opportunities to recognize heroes and to be one. Tell a child that she is as delicate as a princess and see what happens. Give up your parking space to the driver behind you. Offer your umbrella to someone without one.
Being a hero is easily accomplished, whether you call it an act of kindness, a considerate gesture or being a caring member of the human community. By magic, this act reproduces itself in those around you who want to see how it feels to give something important to someone else. Shalom.