Heroes. We have read about them in comic books, we have seen them flying across our movie screens, we have learned about how they thundered across battle fields, defying impossible odds to…honor the kingdom, win the girl, defend our country, or just save the day in general. They have always been, and we pray that they always will be.
But let’s be honest; haven’t heroes-real heroes-always seemed to be outside the realm of our reality? Those people loom larger than life, doing the tasks that we, the more common, everyday folk, could not or would not do. When you leave a theater, for example, sometimes your adrenaline is flowing because you just watched the good guy give everything he or she had for the greater good, whether it be by making an extreme sacrifice that the rest of us are privately thinking,” Thank God it wasn’t us,” or wielding a machine gun and mowing down the evil that threatens mankind, then, well, by golly, there may be a tinge of, “Man, I wish that could be me.”
I recently left the theater after a rather intense film thinking, as I find myself doing often, “Would I be that person? If faced with this crisis, or confronted with that danger, or counted on to make the tough but critical decision, would I be that person who would come through?” I often fear that I would not. I lack confidence that the hero could ever be me.
Ah, but that’s the thing, now, isn’t it? Could it be that we have become so accustomed to believing that the heroes who matter are in the history books, the comic books, the big screen, or on video games that we have failed to see the heroes before us? Or the heroes in us?
I look at my eighty-five year old mother. To this family she is the unquestionable hero, the woman to whom each of us can turn, knowing she will listen or counsel, whichever is needed, but it will be done with love and forgiveness-and what will always continue to amaze me-without judgment. It has been quite an honor to have someone like that as my guide.
And the children. God bless the children who are our every day heroes. The myriad of tumultuous situations they endure is astounding. Society has become so interested in seeking high speed Internet-style gratification and so numbed to brokenness that it has failed to look down to see how it has affected the children. These beings are expected to deal with uncomplaining grace these undulating situations regardless of how heartbreaking it may be for them, yet society also demands that they put all of ‘that’ aside and, for their own good, focus on raising those standardized test scores in school! They are being robbed of the necessity of true, rich learning that may guide them toward solace, hope, and possibly understanding of the world in which they find themselves, all for the sake of more robotic-style education and tests.
Heroes are all around us, in all forms and walks in life. You are the heroes, each of you. From the young to the old, you have found ways to persevere, thrive, and beat the system at its own game. Some do it with quiet grace and some of you ‘do not go gentle into that good night’, but you are the heroes who inspire those of us who watch and admire your wisdom, strength, and guts. To the everyday hero in us all!