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Saturday, April 6, 2013

A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES?


There may come a time when your world may be without anyone you admire or idolize. You may have lived a long life and they are all passed on, had your previous role models exposed as flawed human beings, or maybe you have just become numb to people who are outstanding yet, you can't see them through the darkness. I've been at every stop along the way and I am here to tell you, there is no shortage of heroes.

In the past few months, I have thought about many of the folks I looked up to from my childhood. Elvis, John Wayne, my Uncle Roger, and a few others I held a profound respect for, are all gone. I was lucky to have some priceless memories with my Uncle and came to understand none of my heroes were perfect, but I knew deep down that perfection wasn't what I was looking for anyway.

Elvis was as poor a boy who ever grew up here in the United States, faced his share of obstacles in life and succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. He stayed humble and caring by all accounts and was able to inspire thousands of kids and adults alike to chase their dreams and enjoy the ride. You don't have to be around a hundred years to be unforgettable....

John Wayne was a hero to countless people. In the movies, he is always the star and beats the bad guy, has the swagger you can't fake, and sometimes even gets the girl if she isn't killed off in the process. He led a charmed life and truly was in character 24/7. He WAS John Wayne. I wish I could have met him.

As I age not-so-gracefully, I find myself admiring more people than ever.

I worked with a VERY flawed young man who overcame a destructive lifestyle and is on his way to a great life. Despite the bad choices and the heartache he has given his family, he has a Dad he respects and that loves him, an ambition that will see him succeed at anything he chooses to do, and dreams that I have no doubt will be fulfilled. Terry could be a hero to many.

I am lucky enough to have an aspiring writer (no I am NOT going to steal your idea of writing about loving cake, and not just because I am a PIE guy!) that allowed me in her life despite my offering very little in return. She has close friends whom she counts on and that count on her to share the joy and the unjoy of this thing we call life. She tries to inspire me to write when I can't seem to find any words. She has a career that is full of death and despair yet sees the victories of those overcoming cancer first. Shelly makes it easy to see heroes can be heroines too.

Every week, I seem to run into a single-mother who, despite all the hard work and effort, brings up children in a happy and healthy atmosphere. They accept the reality of their world and do whatever they can to give their kids great memories. If I had to pick any class of human being, I think it would be these same Moms that get a standing ovation from me. Without them, where would our world be? Much worse I have no doubt....

Heroes don't have to be running into a burning building, at war with an angry enemy, or a sports figure with endorsements. If you look around, people do compassionate and caring things every day (No, letting that knucklehead butt-in a long line of traffic is NOT kind, it is dumb!). Heroes and heroines can be everyday people doing extraordinary things. They don't do it for the publicity, money, or because we are keeping score. They do it because they are the kind of human beings we aspire to be, and CAN be.

Are YOU a hero to anyone?

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