When most people think of superheroes, the first thought that usually comes to mind is Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Captain America or one of the other famous superheroes. A thought that doesn't normally come to mind is that we are surrounded by superheroes every single day. I like to call them 21st century superheroes. These superheroes include doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, military personnel, firefighters, police officers and anyone else who willfully chooses to sacrifice their lives daily to help others.
To me, a superhero is a strong individual who you can always depend on. A person who comes to the rescue in times of need and risks their life to save others. Does that not apply to all healthcare professionals? Firefighters? Police officers? Military personnel? All of these professions spend countless hours providing care to the needs of others. In a lot of cases, they risk their lives on a daily basis. It only takes one contagious patient or one accidental needle stick to put their life in danger. One gunshot to take an officer's or soldier's life. One fire that spreads out of control to take the life of a firefighter. These individuals take those risks every day in hopes of saving just one person's life. If that isn't classified as being a superhero, then I'm not sure what is. As children, we dream of becoming a superhero. We play dress up, and then we play dress up again as adults when we put on our scrubs, lab coats, badges, or add initials behind our names, but there is so much more to it than that. These professions endure long hours, stressful days and sleepless nights. They also require an abundant amount of dedication. Dedication to stay up to date with the latest advancements. The number one sacrifice of all though, is the risk that is taken every single day they go to work. It is not just a job, it is a way of life. Our generations to follow should not only learn about fictional superheroes like Batman and Superman, but also about the 21st century superheroes that surround us each day. They should learn that they don't have to have super powers to make their dreams a reality. They can make their dreams of becoming a superhero a reality through their chosen profession. 21st century superheroes exist and they are far more than just a pair of scrubs, a lab coat, badge, or initials behind a name. They are the light at the end of the tunnel and whom we call upon in times of need. They are the REAL living non-fictional superheroes.