Courage and Heroes

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Christopher Reeve

A few weeks ago there was a story in the news that got me thinking about what a real hero is. The story was about a flight attendant that made a grand exit from a flight he was working on after cursing out a passenger by sliding down an emergency chute. The news stories were saying he was being called a hero…I thought there was a better word for him.

So I started to think about what a hero is. We are certainly surrounded by them. Police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, soldiers all run towards danger when the rest of us run the other way. They do it for self less reasons, they are courageous in the face of overwhelming obstacles. They provide safety, protection, freedom to the rest of the world by their bravery. They to me are heroes.

Norman Miller said “The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. A huge difference”

 We all want something to be done about injustices in the world, starvation, poverty, poor living conditions and some of us send our yearly donations or volunteer at the soup kitchen around the holidays…and then there are the hero stories. Mother Teresa is the first one that comes to mind, Nelson Mandela is another one but there are millions of people who dedicate their lives in the service of others. Who don’t just think about it or just get involved but they work for change, they search for solutions, they act because they are driven to. I wish I was more like these people. I want to be more like these people. Not just be concerned about my fellowman but help my fellowman. Imagine the potential of our world if each of us could find the courage to be someone elses hero. To change a world. To live life working at making the world a better place.

Someone once said that “Everyone is necissarily the hero of their own story”. I have looked around me and seen that is true. I have seen individuals rise to the occasion and stay brave when facing overwhelming obstacles. I have seen friends carry on even when she wasn’t sure she could. I have watched individuals stumble or face incredible loss and disappointment in their lives and yet find the good in every situation, to come through each trial with wisdom and love. I have a friend who has spent four years courageously coping with a parent with Alzeimers. Another friend bravely started a new life, returned to school to become a social worker and has rediscovered herself. Other friends face raising teenagers and struggling to make all the right decisions wanting what is best for them but not knowing how to reach them and tears of worry and frustration stain their pillows and darken their eyes yet they bravely navigate their ways through it.

I see amazing teenagers who find the courage and bravery to stand up for what they know is right, who respect others and themselves enough to have goals, try to do what is right and live to their potential. I know young men and women who serve others, with stand peer pressure and the difficulties they face with hope, faith, strength and integrity.

While there are heroes who stand out in the world, who are heroes to nations, each of us can be a hero in our own right. We can make the choices that require courage, we can implement change and take action in our own lives. We may never face a war like the soldiers who fight for the freedoms of others but we do all face our own battles.

I am grateful to my Father in Heaven for everything that I have. He has given me the blessings, people and skills to be a hero in my life by making the right choices and by always having a grateful heart and focus on others.

Andrew Berstien said “A hero has faced it all: he need not be undefeated, but he must be undaunted.”

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One Response to Courage and Heroes

  1. Gnarfflinger says:

    Looking at the examples you offer of police and firefighters, I think there is something different in the psychological make up of these people that enables them to run towards the danger to protect others. That level of confidence in their training and equipment is not something the ordinary person has.

    I do think the word hero is misused. As for the gentlemen that got a little honest with a passenger then left via the emergency exit, I don’t think hero fits. Sure he did something that millions of people wanted to do, but it wasn’t heroic. Sure it was brave, maybe foolish, but not heroic. Millions envy him got the guts to do what he did. I’m sure there’s a word for it, but I can’t think of it.

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