George Washington is often named the hero of the Revolutionary War while the heroes of the Civil War are determined by which side you prefer—the North or the South! World War II had it’s share of heroes, but one in particular catches my attention. A woman, Violette Szabo, was a secret agent who made a difference in a way I can’t even imagine.
Ms. Szabo volunteered to take part in a treacherous operation as a secret agent in France. She was arrested by German authorities, not once, but twice! She ended up being tortured, endured solitary confinement, and finally killed, but held her ground without giving any information betraying those she was working for.
I admit being a secret agent would never be something I could do. That would require being secretive and to an extent deceitful, even if for a good and right cause. I would find that particularly difficult. It would take a special kind of person to be able to handle that, and then not cave when things got tough. I’m not tough.
The heroes from 9/11, those who fought in the wars that devastated our country, didn’t plan to be heroes. They often were just doing their “job” in whatever form it came. The day to day heroes, like our military troops, police, emergency personnel and others who went before them, not only doing their duty, but going beyond the call of duty to do what is right and good, are also heroes.
Our daily lives may not have the excitement or danger like these mentioned heroes endure, but aren’t we all in some way potential heroes to those around us? If we have children, certainly as parents, we have the opportunity to be the heroes in their lives as we sacrifice and give of ourselves to teach them values, morals and all they need to know about life to be successful adults.
Teachers who give of themselves day after day in the classroom (or even the homeschool mom) who give of their knowledge, skill and dedication to teach the child how to read, do math or any of the educational skills required, are also, heroes. They, too, are preparing our young people to be successful and productive adults.
Nurses and doctors who work unbelievable hours in critical emergency situations are also, heroes. The husband who works day after day in a factory to bring home his paycheck to see to the needs of his family, is a hero. The single mom who works two jobs to support her children after she loses her husband and the person who volunteers at a homeless shelter, animal shelter, or in a hospital, are also heroes. Even the person who takes the time to deliver meals or otherwise see to the needs of the elderly or shut in, is a hero.
In many ways anyone who gives of themselves in any manner that is good, has the potential to be a hero in the life of another. It’s not about getting awards or medals, having our names in lights or on banners. It’s all about making a positive difference.
So I challenge you to reflect on those around you. Can you see the heroes in your life? Can you see how you are a hero to others?