Everyday Heroes

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She works two jobs–one beside me selling bagels, the other making copies at the local print shop. Sometimes her shifts add up to fourteen hours a day with only a couple hours of sleep per night. But she still gets up at 4:30 the next day, greets her coworkers with a “good morning”, patiently gives out smiles to customers, and offers to help out if there are any holes in the schedule. She’s tired alot. Her feet and her knees ache from being up so much. But she’s a hero.
He may think that he’s just getting by as a teacher. It’s not true though. The excitement he breathes into powerpoints, his jokes about Romantic writers, his creative projects that bring out the best in every learner–he is an inspiration to all his students. Instead of making education a page in a textbook, he paints it with 3-D depth and bright colors. Without even knowing it, he helped me through a hard time in my life just by making me smile. He’s a hero.
She is the mom of a kid with special needs. Sometimes, I can almost see tears in her eyes as she sings the hymn at the end of the sermon. I don’t know much about her day-in-day-out life–but I know that it is one of courage, struggle, and faith in God. I can still remember her teaching me about the process of art when I was thirteen, “It takes patience. It’s not going to be perfect but you have to keep trying.” I am sure that this inspirational spirit has kept her going for years. She’s a hero.
He comes into work every day singing One Direction or the Little Einsteins theme song: “Climb aboard, get ready to explore!” He’s the highest-up on the job, but treats everyone like equals. Even when facing physical problems or frustration, he can bring a smile to every employee’s face.  However, even when told how lucky everyone is to have him, he points the attention back to his supporters–his wife and son. Uncommonly wise, he gives me hope for relationships today. He’s a hero.
There are many, many more. The ones I look to for advice, the ones I text when I’m falling apart, the ones that give me hope without any intention to. They are my heroes.
They don’t have it easy–no one really does. But by looking at the world from a different perspective, they help me see things the way they do. By pushing me to my potential, they give me passion. By living an exemplary life, they give me hope.
We all have heroes. You know who they are deep down. They are the call in the middle of the night, they are the smile in the storm, they are the good-natured kick in the butt, they are the voice of reason. Everyday heroes.
But never forget that you are someone’s hero too.
Few will tell you that verbally. But you are. You are someone’s inspiration. You are someone’s will to rise and shine in the morning. Someone looks forward to seeing you each day. Someone is secretly longing to be your friend. Even that person who talks behind your back–they want something that you have.
“Nah,” you say, “I’m a nobody. I don’t have anybody like that.”
Stop telling yourself that. It’s an excuse. You are somebody’s hero. Even if it’s the person you buy your lunch from every day, even if it’s your banker, even if it’s that old woman you made smile in the grocery line, even if it’s that kid in class that just won’t cooperate. You are someone’s hero! Saying it’s not true is like Batman burying his mask or Superman burying his cape. It’s denial. It’s deception. It’s an excuse. It’s not true.
One reason why we feel unable to help others is because we don’t understand our value. If you are God’s child, He sacrificed everything to save you. He made the ultimate sacrifice, not so we could wallow around feeling guilty and downtrodden and worthless. He did it ultimately so He could be glorified in us…..and so we would have purpose, and know without a doubt that we are valued and loved. And you know what valued people do? They value other people. You know what loved people do? They love other people. You know what people who have a Hero do? They point others to that Savior, and they become everyday heroes.
A quote from one of my beloved movies, Akeelah and the Bee, states: “”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” What an awesome saying to live by! I really believe that this is the mission statement of everyday heroes–the principle that they repeat every morning as they don the invisible cape.
As the quote says, people who live like everyday heroes inspire others to also become everyday heroes. Every smile, every word, every action, every thought is never wasted. They all mean something. They all are part of fulfilling your mission. Having a hero will change your life, but knowing that you are someone else’s hero will change it even more. Maybe that’s why we choose not to believe it.
Lastly, to all the everyday heroes that have inspired me, thank you. I hope that I can live up to the example that you’ve set. I also hope that one day you will look back on all the little heroes that you helped to create–inspired, busy, kind, courageous people with a mission–and that seeing that will bring a smile to your face. 🙂

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