Who is your hero?

When asked that question, perhaps many of us think of someone famous, rich or powerful — a basketball star, a leading actor, a politician, a writer.

We often think of a hero as being someone whose face has been plastered all over magazine covers or whose name has been at the top of theater marquees.

But there are other heroes who do big things in small ways who don’t often get much, if any, attention.

It is hard for me to understand why a 6′ 5″ overpaid basketball player can be considered a “hero” or “role model,” but the nameless woman who, for no $$$ at all, gets up at dawn and feeds the feral cats, is…not.

On June 11, 2009, a gunman opened fire at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. Security guard Stephen Tyrone Jones was shot in the chest and subsequently died. He was only 39-years-old.

Jones had worked at the museum for 6 years…it was just another work day for him. He faithfully showed up to carry out his job and in so doing, lost his life. But how many people, besides his family members and friends, remember his name?

To me, he is a hero.

When my car spun out on the highway last weekend, the ONE motorist who stopped to see if I was okay was a hero. So were the CHP officers who halted traffic so that I could turn my vehicle around.

The folks who regularly volunteer at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter are heroes and role models. Not every cat or dog who they come in contact with will make it out alive or find a forever home. But for however many hours or days that they give, there are felines and canines who receive a little extra love and care that they may never have had before.

The woman who rides around town on her bicycle and hands out sandwiches to homeless folks receives no pay or glory, but in her own small, quiet way she makes a difference. The Sacramento Bee isn’t knocking down her door for an interview, but she is a role model and humble hero.

The women and men in the US military who labor every day in the dust and heat of Iraq and Afghanistan are heroes and role models. They get very little thought or attention from many Americans here in the states who have not had to give up ANYTHING to support them during these last NINE YEARS of conflict.

And as for the troops who have died in the line of duty, their names don’t make the 24-hour-news cycle no matter how much extra time Wolf Blitzer has to fill. And yet, they are heroes.

There are ordinary people like you and me who speak out against media lies and indifference, violence against women, religious extremists and political corruption. Often all they get for their trouble is being labeled “nutwhacks” for challenging the status quo. But people who speak out for truth are heroes.

ANY faithful canine companion, especially service dogs for the disabled, blind or veterans, is, in my book, a hero.

The folks working behind the scenes are often the ones doing the most good. They don’t have to worry about agents, press releases, photo shoots or bad-hair days — they are just about making a difference.

It’s like that old saying that the theater show could not go on without all the helpers backstage no matter how famous or accomplished the leading actors may be.

There are role models everywhere — in our neighborhoods, parks, churches, schools. There is no need to flip on the news to find them — just look around.

Who is your hero?

©March 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


About pjh95811

I am a writer and poet living in California. I love cats, dogs, nature, poetry, spirituality and the Pacific Ocean.
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