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Holding on To Our Heroes


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Who are your heroes?

To say that we;ve got a screwy sense of who we look up to in this culture would be a captain obvious understatement of the most unnecessary kind.

I’m really entering that phase of life where half of the people in the news – the stars, the celebrities – the raconteurs and provocateurs who stir the social media feeding frenzy – are names I simply do not know.

Their names – their faces – are fuzzy reminders of the fact that I’m probably approaching middle age far faster than I like to admit.

But real heroes – the sort that inspire us – that humble us – that make us look deeply inside at ourselves – how we live – why we live and who we touch – thankfully, those aren’t hard to recognize, even when they’re names are new.

Over the last week or two, for me…the faces of heroism – equal measures of selfless service and courage and humility and boldness and bravery, have reminded me what real heroes look like.

From Kaci Hickox, the nurse from Maine who refused to be quarantined for a disease she did not have, to Brittany Maynard, the young woman who refused to let Cancer take more of her body than it already had, to Lauren Hill, a young girl so committed to her love of basketball that nothing – not even an inoperable tumor that will take her life far too soon…..would keep her from seeing tens of thousands of people cheer her appearance on the collegiate court.

There are people like this, out there in the world – doing stoic, heroic and important work – names, faces, we’ll never know – both our neighbors – and in countries, continents and cultures far away from our own.

True heroes are rarely found in glamourous places during glitzy things – instead – it’s the grace and grit and goodness that is in all of us – when life draws that to the surface in terrible or tragic, mysterious or opportunistic ways – only then do we remember we can be heroes too.

I remind myself of this, not to convince you it’s true – but to remember myself – lest I forget yet again.

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