We are a society that worships heroes. Trouble is that somewhere along the way, our concept of heroes redefined the term from people who do amazing things to help their fellow man, to the men and women whose amazing things are limited to throwing a ball through a hoop, or performing stupid and irresponsible behaviors in front of a television camera. Some of those we designate as heroes today would’ve been designated village idiots a few years back!
It’s not for lack of real heroes, the old-fashioned ones who defy the odds and accomplish incredible things. It’s that finding real heroes means paying attention, another quality that seems to be in short demand these days. Even on the rare occasions when we’re confronted with such extraordinary real heroes that we can’t pretend they don’t exist, it’s no more than a few days before our focus is jerked back to the idiot brigade.
I’ve been privileged to know a few people who qualify as heroes. Oh, nobody who leaped tall buildings at a single bound, and nobody who single-handedly ended war and famine, nothing on the superhuman plane. But I’ve met people who stood up for what was right even when it wasn’t easy, and people whose spirit and strength overcame stupendous hardships and challenges to make life better for themselves and their families.
Some of you have already seen this on my Facebook page, but if anyone is still reading this diary, I’d ask you to read and vote for the following essay:
From a sheerly grammatical standpoint it’s less than stellar. But I know this young man and every word is the truth. The scholarship linked to the essay contest is $5000 for education, and would be a godsend to him and to his family. The writer is my only granddaughter’s daddy, and he’s truly one of the good guys. He adores his daughter and takes his responsibilities to his family very seriously.
See, sometimes heroes require looking a bit more closely. His acts may not have affected millions – but they mean everything to some of us.