My heroes have no super powers. They can’t, to my knowledge, blow anything up. They probably don’t run very fast and can’t jump very far. I didn’t challenge them to an arm wrestling match, but I doubt they are very strong.
They did for me what I couldn’t do. They did it even though I didn’t realize I needed them to.
You will never know their names. You will never again hear about them after reading this article. You will certainly never see them on TV or in a movie. They will never receive an award or be celebrated by anyone.
They are just normal people who made a not so normal decision to love.
What is a Hero?
Our made up stories of heroes make us feel like we can’t be heroes ourselves. They suggest you need a super power and an alter ego. Such heroes save people and occasionally rescue stranded cats out of trees.
But this is my definition:
Heroes do good stuff for other people. And they do it out of love.
They especially do what another person can’t do for themselves.
Heroes make sacrifices. Heroes step in. Heroes get involved. Heroes do more than is expected.
Being a hero isn’t about what gifts you have or what you are talented at. More than anything being a hero is about doing.
The Need for a Hero
My adopted son had a difficult start to life. He was abandoned shortly after birth. No note was left. His parents’ identities never discovered. We don’t even know his exact birthdate. The date we use is a guess.
His life was an unfair result of a difficult government policy combined with immense cultural pressures. None of it was even his fault. To use a cliche, his only mistake was being born.
Orphaned children struggle developing normally, especially psychosocially. During the early years it seems that babies do very little except cry at the wrong times, eat, and dirty their britches.
But inside their little minds and hearts, there is so much going on.
Every time you cried as a baby and someone picked you up and held you and fed you and wiped your butt, something important was happening. You were being loved. Your needs were met. And deep down inside, you knew everything was going to be okay.
It seems that at the core of our being, we have a need to be loved. But for orphans, this need can go unmet.
It is said that orphanages can be eerily quiet. Over time, babies that are left to themselves when they cry, eventually stop crying. It isn’t something I can even imagine. A wall goes up between their heart and the rest of the world. It’s the only way to survive in a world devoid of love.
Every orphaned child needs a hero.
What a Hero Does
My son’s heroes came in the form of a foster family. Having been born in the poorest province in a country known for extreme poverty, there were few chances he would ever receive this type of attention.
But a family said yes. A family stepped up. A family did more than anyone asked of them.
I”m certain it was hard. I’m certain it was inconvenient. Yes, they probably received some benefits from the government for their service. You could potentially argue that they were paid to feed him and change his pants.
But the government can’t make you love.
Even more important than meeting basic needs, they gave him themselves. They opened their hearts to him and he learned to open his heart in return. And now he is secure enough in himself to open his heart to us.
They did all of this knowing it would be temporary. They did it knowing that one day they would hand this little boy they gave so much to, over to strangers.
They gave to him knowing that it would break their hearts.
We need more heroes in this world. We need people to do this kind of work. Who step up to offer what they have for the good of others.
To be a hero it doesn’t take that much. You don’t need super powers. You don’t need billions of dollars. You don’t need the right opportunity, in fact we are surrounded by opportunities every day.
To be hero all you need is to do is choose to love and then choose to do. (Tweet that.)
Who is your hero?
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