How To Be A Hero

So many times I hear how people want to be someone's hero; one of my kids, 19, has an abiding fascination with all things Batman and other iconic figures out of graphic novels. I don't blame him for it; Batman and his colleagues are always there to save the day and rid the world of the evils that ail it.
And I have no issue with this; it is a wonderful thing that he's taken a positive role model. He's a good-hearted young man and will do well in life, particularly with the continuing advent of maturity (and I pray this maturity isn't too painful too often for him to attain). 
Yet, as I explain to him, there is what I consider to be a practical daily heroism that doesn't net any television appearances or newspaper articles; no one will sing this kind of hero's praises from the rooftops, nor will being a practical daily hero win one the key to the city.
But this kind of hero is the most important, most influential of all. 
I say, ask yourself this: do I really want to be a Hero? 
Ok, if your answer is "Yes! Yes! Absolutely yes!" then I will explain how you can achieve hero status. 
1). Do the right thing, no matter how small, tedious, uncomfortable, or inconvenient it may be. See that sink full of dirty dishes? Wash them so your loved ones don't have to. See that pile of laundry that needs cleaning (whether or not the clothing belongs to you)? Wash them, dry them, then neatly put them away. By not doing these things, you leave these tasks for the other people in your home. I'm willing to bet that the people in your home are folks you feel a fondness, heck, even love, for. 
So do the dishes.
2). In a romantic relationship, maybe? Do you still want to be a hero? Then get this: be a hero by being committed. Be committed as in, don't simply NOT commit infidelity (i.e., no cheating!) but... commitment is so much more. We've all heard that traditional marriage vows say "in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for richer and for poorer" before the 'til death due us part' segment. So what does this mean? For one, you don't have to be married to be committed. But it does mean that when your girlfriend needs frequent reassurance from you because she's been hurt too many times to count by other guys... don't get irritated with her or take it as a personal insult. Instead of looking at the fault of the requirement for reassurance, see past that to the painful source of need within her. And love her in this frail, human imperfect and often annoying state anyway. Just reassure her. And don't leave. It's not rocket science, but can be very challenging; the grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence, as it were, but if you love her, you will stay "in good times and in bad". Love is not limited to the unreliable, fluctuating passions of our human flesh; humans just don't work that way 24/7, it's too intense to be sustainable like that. Love is very often a decision when the feelings aren't there and we're then rewarded when the feelings return later on. Be a hero and don't throw in the towel when the rubber meets the road and it's time to WORK. Any real relationship that's worth having WILL be work. A Hero will commit to the work, 100%, no looking back. 
Be this hero.
Further, a Hero has the heart and fortitude to truly Forgive, regardless of the situation. Acid only eats the vessel that it's in; keep this in mind the next time you're nursing that resentment you keep rolling around in your mind. Much like it's parent, Love, Forgiveness is more often than not first a decision often, the feelings of being liberated from the resentment follow the committed decision to forgive. 
And, if you want to be a hero with others that you don't have such intimate relationships with? Easy!
The next time you're in line at a busy grocery store, go out of your way to let the mother with two young children have a place in front of you in line; it's a small kindness and won't cost you a thing, and may very well make her hectic, stressful day just a little better, a little softer; perhaps that small gesture will renew a failing faith in humanity. 
In this mundane day to day life, there's little glitz or glamour; few of us will have closeups with Christian Bale on a Hollywood set complete with bound villains and Batmobile to tell the world what heroes we are.
But our actions have often permanent and far reaching consequences that we cannot imagine at the moment. You know what happens when you drop a stone into a still body of water; have you ever watched to see how far those ripples go, or how large they can grow to be in circumference? 
Though we can watch the water ripples when we drop the stone in, we just have to trust in our hearts that doing these small, but good and right, things, will create ripples of goodness, that, whether or not we are able to perceive them, can make us each...Heroes.

afreimann afreimann
41-45, F
1 Response Jan 8, 2013

It loved it! it was truely a "hey wake up people" to stop the spread of hate and encourage the spread of my favorite emotion, LOVE!