A hero is a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. People need heroes because heroes save or improve lives by inspiring others. Heroes have the ability to turn others into heroes as well.
A few days ago while I was traveling in Oregon I met Pebble and Dick. They were standing on the jetty in Newport, Oregon bird watching with their spotting scope and binoculars. Dick had all the latest gadgets so he could take iPhone pictures on the scope. They were avid bird watchers. Did I forget to mention that Pebble and Dick were just short of their ninetieth birthday? Pebble had fallen while out birding four years ago and broke both her ankles. Yet here she was standing tall on a cold day. I also noted how they have continued to embrace and change as technology has advanced. Just because one ages, doesn’t mean they have to be stuck in the past. As with anyone they continue to grow and change and learn.
I used to hike with the Sierra Club while living in San Diego. It was the Wednesday in the Mountains group. Most hikers were retired and moving at a pretty good pace. Paul was close to ninty and was still hiking (most often in the lead) and every year traveled to Mexico to teach ESL to students.
Another man in this group had hiked the Grand Canyon each decade. When he was reaching his ninetieth birthday he had to cancel his hike because his son was sick and needed someone to help him out.
Many years ago I was a regular attendee of Quaker Meeting. Sitting in silent worship and waiting for the voice of God to speak through you was not always an easy task. I started attending Meeting for Worship because of a man I was dating. I stayed a long time after the relationship had disappeared. The quality I admired in most of the attendees was their call to action. They didn’t preach about what needed to be done, they were active in their beliefs. If they felt called to help refugees coming across the southern border, they were helping out. One woman spoke about her experience in Nicaragua sitting with a child whose father was kidnapped by the rebels. They thought the wife and child would be taken too. Someone stayed with the mother and child twenty-four hours a day. If they were taken while people sat with them it would then become an international incident, not just one more disappearance.
I must not forget the nurses, doctors, firemen, policemen, teachers and other civil servants who put their lives on the line every day to help the rest of us maintain a good and positive life.
All these people and many of my friends are my heroes. There are so many out in the world who help without being noted in the paper, on the news, or anywhere else. There are many very fine people in this world who through their actions and beliefs change my life and your life for the better.
These everyday heroes, inspire me to do better, to be kinder, more patient, and loving towards others.
Today I am thankful that I can recognize the everyday hero when I meet one. Today I am grateful to meet those who inspire me and help me to create good in my life. I am thankful for heroes.