Why Our Heroes Might Be Holding Us Back
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Why Our Heroes Might Be Holding Us Back

Why do we keep waiting for someone to swoop in?

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Why Our Heroes Might Be Holding Us Back
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Heroes. Ever popular, ever current, ever historical, ever in need and ever inspiring. They’ve made TV series out of them, comic books, documentaries and epic legends.

Without a doubt, we as a society LOVE our heroes, whoever they may be. They become part of our identity – who we aspire to be like, who we wouldn’t be here without, who changed our lives in some way or who we wish even existed. They come alive in stories and movies or even in social media profile description questions. What is it that draws us so compellingly to this concept of heroism?

Think for a moment of five heroes you have.

Are they real or fictional? What qualities do they all have in common? Is it their strength, wisdom or cunning wit? Is it their unbreakable spirit or passion for their beliefs? I’m thinking of my own heroes, and answering my own questions. Incidentally, the ones I chose happen to be real people, some I have met and some I have not. The thing I’m noticing, though, is that the things that draw me to them are not singular huge events, but a series of smaller events that help define them in my eyes. That’s just my observation, though. Yours might be different, as we are, of course, different people with different backgrounds and mindsets.

But the idea struck me, though, that whatever qualities we happened to gravitate to, are quite possibly qualities we see as lacking in ourselves. Whoa… breakthrough! Right? No, not really. Not actually a huge epiphany. Many have come to the same conclusion. But bear with me, and look a bit more into it from my angle. I’ll guess that in any of our top five list of heroes, none of us listed ourselves. Because that would be conceited, right? Or is that just what we tell ourselves as an excuse to not be held accountable for how we choose to live?

Honestly, what stops us from being our own hero? Why do we keep waiting for someone else to swoop in? As a Christian, I do believe someone will swoop in and save us, (truly He is the ultimate hero), but why should that excuse me from not playing my part here in the meantime? It’s this idea of, “It’s not my job, I don’t have time, I’m not good enough, I have nothing to offer, etc.” that continually holds us back. We’ve romanticized the idea so much that the concept seems unattainable on a personal level. We seem to believe that we have to run into a burning building to save a child on the top floor for “hero status” to apply, and let’s be honest: those opportunities don’t come around for most people that often – if ever. So we accept the idea that being a hero isn’t for us. Still, is that the correct mentality? Shouldn’t there be a more attainable way to live up to who we aspire to be like?

Christopher Reeve asserts that, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

Perhaps learning to fly or stopping moving trains with our bare hands isn’t quite feasible, but what about stepping up to the person verbally abusing another in the supermarket? What about instead of break-checking the tailgater behind us, we kept our cool and simply pulled over somewhere to let them pass? What if instead of tailgating the driver making us late for that super important thing we have to be at, we took those extra minutes in the car to count our blessings? (And let’s be honest, most of us who are drivers have been in both those positions at least once in our life.) What if instead of trying to hit the animals crossing the road as if it was a game, we took one day a month to volunteer at an animal shelter? (I’ve actually heard of states where purposely hitting turtles crossing the road is a thing. I think I had nightmares after reading that.) Or, what if instead of making passive-aggressive digs at teachers who mark us off for that one thing they weren’t supposed to mark us off for but they did – don’t tell me that hasn’t happened to you too – what if we just took a deep breath and studied an extra 20 minutes for the next test? What if instead of lashing out every time an injustice happened… we took the opportunity to be the better person? Is that fair? Not in the slightest. But did all our heroes have everything go their way? Or did they have to suck up their pride once in a while to accomplish the greater good? Granted, some heroes are known to blow things up when they get upset, but let’s not fixate on that.

Please. Don’t go blow cities up in the name of becoming a better person. I’m just asking you to join me in trying to remember that when things aren’t right – we learn to take a breath and do what’s right. Sometimes that could be saying something – for once in our life – or it could be not saying something – for once in our life. Perhaps the key is simply learning to analyze a situation and finding the opportunities to better it for those around us.

A hero can be made in a moment, in a year, or even over a lifetime. Be it temporary or a lifetime, I’d say it’s time we stop waiting for someone else to be the hero and take up the challenge ourselves. We can always find opportunities in the little things, and if we can learn to take a stand in those small things, we just might find that one day we have the courage and opportunity to do something huge. Regardless, if we make the effort when the opportunity comes, we just might become the kind of person we’re proud of.

We just might even become somebody else’s hero, too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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